The retail and Web versions of Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare 1.5 won't be out until the end of January (allegedly at the same time as Windows Vista launches to consumers on January 30). But Microsoft officially released the code to manufacturing on January 3, according to a post on the OneCare team blog.
Windows Live OneCare is Microsoft's all-in-one antivirus, antispyware, firewall, backup, maintenance service. It costs $49.95 per year for use on up to three PCs.
There is seemingly conflicting data on how well OneCare is being received into the market. NPD data released this week, found that Microsoft had garnered just 0.8 percent of the security marketplace. Inside Microsoft points out that NPD said in August that OneCare was accounting for 15 percent of retail sales.
Inside Microsoft's conclusion:
"The only explanation: Retail sales only make up a small percentage of security software sales, with most people getting their antivirus and other security software pre-installed on a new PC."
Microsoft isn't bundling OneCare with Windows (the antitrust watchers would be all over that move), but with Vista, is promoting the service via the Welcome Center splash screen. But even the splash-screen promo raised the hackles of some of Microsoft's security rivals, resulting in Microsoft adding links to competing third-party security services to the Vista Welcome Center.