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McAfee.com launches in the UK

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McAfee.com, the security ASP subsidiary of Network Associates, this week launched a UK version of its online virus protection service.

The VirusScan Online service, available through McAfee.co.uk at £17.95 per year, uses software which is automatically updated at least once a day.

This minimises the need to install, configure and manage the antivirus technology on a local PC or network - and makes sure protection is always up to date. Such an easy to use service could appeal to many consumers and as McAfee.com points out there is a substantial population of unprotected PCs out there.

The core technology is the same as McAfee's desktop virus protection software, which (like other antivirus software) is known for its occasional bugs - false alerts, or virus updates that inadvertently damage files come to mind.

Sam Curry, a security architect at McAfee.com, acknowledged that there have been such problems but said quality assurance procedures at McAfee.com minimised the risk.

Errors, though possible, won't affect the functionality of the service, he said: "Because we work online we can tell quickly if there's a problem and know how to back out of it."

The UK web service is part of McAfee.com's expansion programme across Europe. Last month a German site was launched, with a French launch pencilled for March next year. An additional 13 native language sites are expected to be set up across Europe and Asia over the next few months.

Localised Web sites let users to pay in their own currencies and read about the service in their own language. A support centre based in The Netherlands will service the European market.

McAfee.com has "1.2 million paid subscriptions" worldwide to its various services, which also include a personal firewall subscription offering. ®

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