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Say Buddy, You Got Any Fire Insurance?

Posted on Friday 13 May 2005

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Microsoft Corp. said it plans to offer consumers a “computer health” service this year as it seeks to protect its customers from an onslaught of computer viruses and other attacks…

Microsoft intends to charge an annual subscription fee for the service, which is designed to provide home-computer users with an easy way to maintain up-to-date antivirus, antispyware and firewall defenses. The service, Windows OneCare, will automatically perform certain personal-computer maintenance tasks such as backing up and recovering files.

So their business strategy would appear to be: ship an insecure operating system with known and unknown exploitable flaws then charge customers not only for the OS itself but also for a service to address some of the problems caused by the OS? Brilliant. Am I the only one who sees a remarkable parallel between Windows OneCare and the mob’s ‘insurance’ extortion?

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