Alex Eckelberry has written a piece lambasting Microsoft’s pricing for its new security products.Â He has noted how very cheap they are compared to their competitors, and has concluded that they are acting in a predatory manner.Â Go read it in its entirety.
As a counter to Alex’s opinion, I would note that:
- Security is one of the biggest problems faced by our industry today.Â OneCare Live is a solution that we can finally afford at our home, where we have multiple PC’s on our LAN. I am deploying it everywhere, since each OneCare Live license is good for three PC’s.Â I would not have bought 6 annual licenses of Norton.Â It was too much money.Â We have been getting by with the free trials offered by many vendors now for the last two years, but it’s a hassle.Â Microsoft’s entry into the market is good for me, and I suspect many consumers will conclude the same.
- Consolidation is a natural part of every industry.Â Large players buy smaller players, and some players don’t survive.Â Further to that, it’s common for large players to buy smaller players for their technology, and then market or sell that technology in different ways.Â For instance, Microsoft acquired a couple of desktop search firms last year, and has integrated that technology directly into Windows Vista and Office.Â Again, it provides a better experience for me, but it is unlikely I would have paid money for that experience.Â The fact that Microsoft has chosen to price security the way that they have could just as easily be evidence of a different business strategy than is being employed by their competitors.Â Moreover, it is evidence that the company wants to get serious about ensuring that large numbers of theirÂ customers have robust solutions.Â After all, Windows is the launching point for virtually all internet attacks today.Â
I don’t envy Alex’s position.Â His company, Sunbelt Software, is in the security business.Â The pressure must be enormous.