Are they joke?
I'm just amazed by the number of false positives McAfee seems to be generating at the moment. I've never had a particularly high opinion of it and this has done nothing to enhance my view.
Now granted false positives are a fact of life but you'd think they would be less with giant corporate anti-virus solutions since they probably have more programmers than they known what to do with. I've had a few false positives with Avira (Antivir back then) and I found their programming team to be very responsive. They had a solution within 24 hours. That impressed me a lot.
My current employer runs F-Secure (as my former employer did) and that, IMHO is a complete pile of junk as well. Whenever I'm away from my computer and my screensaver comes on, when I return and screensaver goes off, F-Secure generates an out of memory error. WHAT!?! The program crashes? Apparently! Not very impressive. I can't be bothered to tell my bosses what a complete waste of time F-Secure is because when I've done so in the past it has fallen on deaf ears.
I still run F-Secure (I'm sure I could remove it) because I want to cover myself in the event of some data loss. However, I have very little faith in it's ability to protect my files, so I always take my own precautions.
I haven't heard any better things about Norton either, one of the other big names, so I have to wonder why would you ever bother? My only conclusion is that people buy computers with trial versions of these programs on, and then when they expire, buy a full version because they feel they have to, or don't know any better. This irks me that big corporations can abuse their position of power like that.
What's wrong with the free solutions? I wrote an article on my website a while ago about using free alternatives and staying safe in general. I think I might have to do a follow up and again highlight the woeful lacking found in commercial solutions like McAfee. Plus I can add some new Anti-Virus tools to the freeware arsenal like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and TotalVirus.com (thanks PA.c for that one!).
Sometimes you don't get what you pay for.