Larry Dignan quotes some NPD data which says that Microsoft’s security subscription suite, Windows Live OneCare, has taken just 0.8 percent of the security marketplace. This is very confusing, given that NPD data said back in August that OneCare was accounting for 15% of retail sales. 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.
On the one hand, as long as Microsoft refuses to get manufacturers to bundle OneCare, probably due to antitrust concerns, they will have to go the hard route to get users to adopt. On the other hand, Microsoft’s users are all real users, not the many Norton users who get Norton’s software with their new PC, and refuse to pay when the free period is up. Microsoft may find success as the security software people are actually willing to pay money for, which means a lot of customer loyalty, and it also means that any market share they pick up, it will be very hard for the competition to win back