is likely to grab a substantial share of the consumer antivirus market, but probably won't have much success in the race to sell security products to large businesses, according to a survey of security professionals by PiperJaffray.
The giant software company, says analyst Gene Munster, will use its muscle to undercut consumer products by rivals, including
, by as much as 20%. As a result, the security pros believe that Microsoft will capture one-third of the consumer security market within a year of its entry.
In mid-May, Microsoft unveiled Windows OneCare, a consumer product that will provide automatically updated antivirus, antispyware and two-way firewall protection as well as a broader range of tools to maintain personal computers. The product is currently undergoing internal testing and is expected to be available around the end of the year.
But the security pros -- and Munster himself -- are not sanguine about Microsoft's chances in enterprise security. Indeed, it's unclear how committed Microsoft is to entering that market, he said.
Interestingly, the surveyed professionals were a bit inconsistent in their opinions. A majority of them believed that Microsoft will gain 5% to 15% of the market in its first year of competition. But only 10% said they thought the Microsoft solution would be good enough for their companies. Munster figures Microsoft won't be a force in that market until 2008 -- if then.
PiperJaffray surveyed and interviewed 20 members of the Information Systems Security Association.
Asked which vendors' products they trusted in the enterprise sector, the pros gave
the top billing, followed by Symantec and
, which were tied.
The companies most likely to benefit from ongoing trends in the enterprise market this year, Munster said, are
, Check Point,
. McAfee and Symantec will also benefit, but whether or not these gains offset loses to Microsoft in the consumer market is unclear.
PiperJaffray does not have an investment banking relationship with any of the companies mentioned in this story.