AOL has been trying to free itself from its self-imposed walled-garden business model, attempting to convert itself into an Internet portal and service provider. Now, the company is getting ready to take another step into the services and software market with AOL Total Care, a Windows security and maintenance subscription service designed to go head to head with similar offerings from Symantec, Microsoft, and McAfee. Unlike AOL’s Safety and Security Center, Total Care will be available to members and non-members alike.
AOL Total Care will combine antivirus, antiphishing, and antispyware technologies with an Internet firewall, both local and remote backup software, and performance-tuning utilities. Antivirus and firewall components are being provided by McAfee; system monitoring and tune-up tools are being developed by Iolo while antiphishing tools (which won’t be in the beta) are from MarkMonitor. AOL Total Care subscribers will also have access to online, on-site, and telephone tech support provided through a partnership with Gurus2Go.
AOL will release a beta edition of Total Care to members via its beta software Web site; no final ship dates or pricing models have been announced.