Microsoft’s integrated security software, Windows Live OneCare, got its official release today and will be available on CD starting tomorrow. This doesn’t mean anything to anyone other than the marketing department – it’s the same program that I’ve been recommending for months.

McAfee doesn’t want to be left out. Yesterday McAfee announced that it will have a copycat service later this summer, with some additional features that will differentiate it from OneCare.

Meanwhile, Symantec is flailing. It’s in the middle of a huge overhaul of its enterprise products for large companies following its purchase of backup giant Veritas. Symantec had also announced its own competitor to OneCare (new name: Norton 360), but announced today for unspecified reasons that it would be delayed until March of 2007. That’s a long delay in today’s world, a long time for Microsoft to get good word of mouth and take over the market.

Symantec has bigger problems, though. A crippling security hole in Symantec Antivirus 10 was discovered a few days ago, potentially allowing attackers to take over computers and destroy programs and files without any action by someone onsite. Details were hazy on how the hole could be exploited, but the widespread publicity was incredibly damaging.

Perhaps Symantec and McAfee can still deliver well-written software but for the moment I’m staying far away from their products.

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