Microsoft OneCare gets a bashing

Microsoft's plans to charge for its security service has annoyed users

IT professionals have slammed Microsoft over plans to charge for a security service to protect its own products.

Microsoft on Friday announced an internal beta launch of Windows OneCare, which will be a paid subscription service to block viruses and spyware that affect Windows machines. But users are upset that the software giant wants to make money from securing its own products they say it should have made secure in the first place.

One IT security worker said he was appalled at the idea: "The fact that they are charging is the height of hypocrisy. It is unbelievable that Microsoft is attempting to launch a service to charge customers for protection from flaws in its own products. I feel there should not be a need for that — they should have software that's resilient to that."

ZDNet UK readers wrote they were also angry with Microsoft. "Am I just being cynical or does this sound like a way to make money rather than fix the product?" asked Nick Stevens in a Talkback comment to the article announcing the prouct. "What I am surprised about, considering the high cost of the OS in the first place, is how MS have the gall to charge for this service."

IT consultant John Perczyk added: "Great idea — MS get to turn their security bugs into a revenue stream... Perhaps it should be more correctly renamed 'No one cares'."

An emailed response attributed to Microsoft's director of platform strategy Nick McGrath, said: "Windows OneCare will be a paid subscription service. As it is still early in the product development cycle we have no further details to share at this time. We will keep you posted as we get closer to final availability. What has been announced is internal beta, which will be distributed to Microsoft employees, and represents the first step in Microsoft's plan to offer a comprehensive solution to help consumers protect and maintain the overall 'health' of their PCs."