About four weeks ago, I went for an annual physical and had standard blood work done. I was told to call back in a week, and of course I forgot. Today I had a message that said: "Hello, this is Dr. XX's office, please call us back at xxx-xxx-xxxx." That was it--the person didn't identify herself and also didn't say what the call was for. When I dialed the number, I was expecting to be told that I owed them money. But actually, the woman on the phone had no idea why she had called … Read more
Trendwatching gets it right (again): "Giving is the new taking, and sharing is the new giving." That's the key assertion in this month's trend briefing, which describes the characteristics of Generation G (for generosity) and offers eight ways for brands to join: from Tryvertising to Brand Butlers to Random Acts of Kindness (RAK).… Read more
It's Friday the 13th today, and just one day left before Valentine's Day, so we beg 404 resident hottie biscotti Rana Showbunny of Medialets into the studio to help Jeff decide what to get his girlfriend for the holiday. Her answer is definitely the opposite from what we thought! Meanwhile, I think all hope is lost for Wilson and me...I can't speak for him, but I know that by this time tomorrow I'll be curled up in the fetal position with a Snuggie watching A Walk to Remember and polishing off a Dumpster's worth … Read more
Microsoft is causing a stir in the security world by dropping the fee for its antivirus software. That might be great news for security in general. But if people come to expect the service for free, where does that leave the companies that focus solely on security? Reporters Ina Fried and Elinor Mills join me in the podcast studio to talk about it.
Also in this podcast: Psystar's countersuit against Apple is all but dead; start-up has designs on ditching the lithium in consumer gadget batteries; there's a new Internet in outer space; and Microsoft says--again--that it's … Read more
Microsoft shocked the security industry on Tuesday by announcing that it will stop selling its consumer-focused Microsoft OneCare security software. Instead, Microsoft said that it will offer a new free alternative dubbed "Morro" in mid-2009. What does this sudden change in direction mean?
1. Microsoft is cutting its losses After two years of hawking OneCare, the company barely made a blip in consumer security market share and was probably bleeding red ink. It is cheaper to give away Morro than to package, distribute, and promote OneCare.
2. There's a reason to remain in the market So why … Read more
Since its introduction in 2006, Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare has altered the antivirus landscape. With Tuesday's announcement that Microsoft will no longer be selling the product in retail outlets but offering a new free version, code-named Morro, starting in the second half of 2009, it's sure to change the field once again.
Since Microsoft bought Romania-based antivirus firm GeCad five years ago, there has been fear among the commercial antivirus vendors that the software giant would simply bundle its malware protection within the next version of Windows. While that didn't happen--and it's unlikely to happen… Read more
There's a lot of ways to look at Microsoft's decision to abandon OneCare and come up with free antivirus software.
But I had to do a double take Tuesday night when I saw the Wall Street Journal headline on the decision: "Microsoft plans new spyware."
I saw the headline first on my phone, then went to the Journal's Web site, where the headline was featured on the main page. (See screenshot).
The article itself makes no reference to Microsoft creating spyware, and once one clicks on the story, bears the headline "Microsoft Plans to … Read more
Microsoft's decision to offer free antivirus software puts rivals such as McAfee and Symantec in a tough position.
To be sure, those two--and other rivals--will be able to tout products that offer a broader range of features than Microsoft plans to deliver with "Morro" next year. At the same time, "nada" is a tough price to compete against.
That raises the question of whether those companies or others may look to antitrust regulators for help. We've put queries into those companies and also posed the antitrust question to Microsoft. I'll let you know … Read more
Updated at 6:15 p.m. PST with Microsoft and McAfee comment, at 5:30 p.m. with Sophos comment, and at 4:40 p.m. with customer comment.
Microsoft on Tuesday said it is changing its strategy for offering PC antivirus software, with plans to discontinue its subscription-based consumer security suite and instead offer individuals free software to protect their PCs.
Code-named Morro, the new offering will be available in the second half of 2009 and will protect against viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans, the company said in a statement.
With the arrival of Morro, Microsoft plans to stop … Read more