The company is preparing to ship an updated version of the service that will introduce unified virus and spyware scanning, as well as more flexible back-up options.
Microsoft launched OneCare in May 2006. The suite offers antivirus, system optimisation and back-up software, and has been available in the US as a subscription service at an annual rate of $49.95.
The suite will retail at £37.99 in the UK and €49.95 in Europe, similar to competing products. The prices amount to a 50 and 30 per cent mark-up respectively over the charges for US consumers.
Microsoft's OneCare suite has been generally well received. The software has a limited impact on system performance and offers good protection against emerging threats.
Erig Ogren, a security analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, expects that the Vista roll-out will allow Microsoft to gain further market share in the consumer security space.
Antivirus software designed for Windows XP does not work on systems running Windows Vista.
Users upgrading to the new operating system are required to purchase new security software, and are more likely to switch to a competing product.
Microsoft's brand name recognition is likely to help out here, according to Ogren. "Consumers will follow the path of least resistance," he told vnunet.com.
Security software vendors increasingly compete on the ease of use of their software and less on the speed at which they deliver updates. Microsoft has done particularly well in those areas.
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