You had to see this one coming. They did it when Microsoft shipped Windows Live OneCare and then raced to create their own me-too products. But what will Symantec and McAfee do now that Microsoft is providing Windows users with free AV? Whine, of course. IDG News reports:

"Security Essentials won't change anything," said Jens Meggers, Symantec's vice president of engineering. "Microsoft has a really bad track record in security," he added, ticking off several ventures into consumer security that the giant has tried, including Windows Defender, an anti-spyware tool bundled with Windows Vista and Windows 7; the released-monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool; and OneCare.

I'd remind people that Symantec still sells its OneCare rip-off, Norton 360, right next to its normal Norton AV and Norton Internet Security suites. You know, it's the same. But different.

In a company blog, another Symantec employee called Security Essentials a "rerun" of OneCare, and said: "At the end of the day, Microsoft Security Essentials is a rerun no one should watch."

Ah boy. I wonder if that guy works on Norton 360.

I think Microsoft Security Essentials is excellent, but then I also exercise common sense online. From what I can tell, that's the best defense.