McAfee to open IT service portal site

McAfee to open IT service portal site

Network Associates has previewed McAfee Online, an Internet portal that the company plans to make live at the end of this month.

Targeted initially at consumers and small business, McAfee Online (code-named Project Apollo) will eventually try to reach into the enterprise markets with several useful services for IT managers, according to Srivats Sampath, an ex-Netscape executive who is heading the newly formed McAfee online division within Network Associates.

In addition to offering general content such as news and stock information, the portal site will leverage McAfee and Network Associates technologies to deliver PC management services over the Internet, the company said.

The services that will be offered in Version 1.0 of McAfee Online include McAfee Direct, Network Associates' online store; Downloads; Virus Alerts; Search (Network Associates is currently in discussions with several search technology vendors including Lycos and Infoseek); Post Office, for the purchase of e-stamps and other postal services; White and Yellow Pages; and Classified ads.

Additionally, McAfee Online will feature two other services geared to enterprise users -- McAfee Garage and Briefcase.

McAfee Garage is a series of online utilities for securing, managing, and optimizing PCs via the Internet, according to Network Associates' Sampath. McAfee Garage consists of online year-2000 compliance services, McAfee VirusScan Online, and online versions of two PC management products that Network Associates acquired last month from CyberMedia -- Oil Change and UnInstaller.

McAfee Garage is ActiveX-based and leverages the more than 1.4 million existing subscribers of CyberMedia's Oil Change solution. Garage is the only McAfee Online service that will not be free and it is priced between $5 and $9 per month per user.

According to Sampath, McAfee Garage will greatly alleviate headaches for network administrators by freeing them from worries over deployment, version upgrades, and other PC maintenance tasks.

Another useful McAfee Online service will be Briefcase -- an online e-mail service that company executives said "is not just another Web e-mail offering."

Briefcase is an agent-based traveling e-mail solution that enables users of cc:Mail (and Lotus Notes further down the road) to access their corporate e-mail accounts via the portal site.

Finally, Network Associates is also launching McAfee Traveling Portal, an Internet portal service that underlies Web browsers. Each time users visit a Web site, a bar at the bottom of the screen will appear with active searching capabilities, targeted advertising, and site information pertaining to the site the user is currently visiting. McAfee Traveling Portal currently supports Internet Explorer 4.0 and will support Netscape Communicator and Internet Explorer 3.0 within eight weeks, according to the company.

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