From Custom PC... Microsoft betas its OneCare Live antivirus software 5:58PM Microsoft has unleashed a public beta of its first consumer security suite in the US - and it's not compatible with the two biggest antivirus products. Any suggestion that Microsoft's plans for consumer security software were to play happy families with the rest of the antivirus industry has been exploded as, on unveiling a beta of its first rival product, it says it is not compatible with either Symantec or McAfee. It also says Trend Micro products are incompatible. Windows OneCare Live includes antivirus software, developed through technologies acquired when it bought Romanian security firm GeCAD. As with other av products it uses both signature and heuristic or behavioural approaches for identifying and swatting nasty code. It also includes the OneCare firewall, offering bi-directional monitoring and blocking, keeping tabs both on attempts to get into the system as well as unusual attempts to access the Internet by files already installed. The Performance Plus component essentially schedules a monthly service for the system, performing a full virus scan, defragmenting and cleaning up the hard disk, and checking for updates and any files that need to be backed up. Most of this is already available in Windows. Finally Backup and Restore tracks changes in files and backs them up either to an external hard disk or a CD or DVD. Microsoft has said it will charge for OneCare Live as part of its Live online strategy, but this goes against its past performance. The Microsoft version of its Sybari acquisition is to include the antivirus engine free - and although customers often plug in multiple engines into the product, having one for free means it will likely be chosen over a second. The Windows firewall is also supplied free of charge. So it seems that the game may be up for consumer security software. While Microsoft may stay the right side of anticompetitive practices by charging a fee, its aim of securing the 70 per cent or so antivirus-free computers means that the fee will have to be pretty low. Symantec has already announced it is pulling its Sygate personal firewall products, although Zone Labs says it remains committed to providing consumer firewall products.