Broken UX^2: Microsoft announces security product OneCare

As some of you might know, I’m not too fond of Microsoft products or their business demeanor. So maybe please excuse my little rant on the Redmond company ? It’s funny how they’ve been getting away with shipping product after product that features bugs, usability glitches, and plain oversights. But well, there’s the old IT saying that nobody gets fired for recommending Microsoft products.

What I don’t like about Microsoft either is their business ethics ? or lack thereof. It’s been a clever move to first not really doing anything against people pirating copies of the Windows installation CDs and to wait until nearly everybody’s computer ran on one or the other flavor of Windows and then start bringing in the crop through their challenge-and-response mechanism. All of a sudden, now that you had all the Windows-compatible infrastructure in place, you were forced to go and buy a lincense for the OS. Basically, it’s like making someone take a drug by giving some away and then, once they’re addicted, to take outrageous prices. (I’m not advocating pricacy here?I’ve got licences for all my software on all my computers, thank you very much?but for lots of people, at least here in Germany, software is something you get from your neighbor and you definitely don’t need to pay for.)
The latest move in this bad game is the introduction of Microsoft OneCare. As c|net reported on May 30,

OneCare combines antivirus, anti-spyware and firewall software with backup features and several tune-up tools for Windows PCs. The product went on sale in the U.S. online and in stores Wednesday. Microsoft said it plans to expand to international markets in the coming 12 months.

? snip ?

OneCare will cost $49.95 a year for use on up to three PCs in a home, a competitive price compared with rival products from traditional security vendors including Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro. Many retailers plan to offer rebates and other types of promotions that will discount OneCare, Microsoft said in a statement.

? snip ?

Industry analysts have said that businesses may be hard-pressed to buy security products from Microsoft?maker of the software that needs protection. On the consumer front, however, Microsoft brings a well-established and largely trusted brand into the market, these analysts have added.

? snip ?

OneCare is aimed at consumers. Microsoft is also eyeing the enterprise security market. It is working on a new Client Protection product to defend business desktops, laptops and file servers against malicious code attacks. A public beta of Client Protection is slated for release in the third quarter.

I mean, come on people! This is outrageous! Isn’t Microsoft the company that’s responsible for the need for security protection in the first place? Is it not them who ship a so-called OS that’s one big security problem in itself? Are they not getting paid for an actually defunct product? And now they’re charging customers to protect themselves from problems that wouldn’t have arisen if Microsoft had done their job properly in the first place? This should be a free update ? just a security fix, together with a big apology to all the customers out there in daily fear of data loss and virus infection.

I don’t expect companies to give business ethics the highest priority. But this is about how you treat your customers. This is about respect and credibility. It’s also a history about greed and impertinence on behalf of a company that’s making so much money it can’t actually handle it.

This is such a broken UX, it’s got the special tagline “Broken UX^2”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.