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Microsoft Announces Windows OneCare Live Pricing.

February 8th, 2006 by Patrick S

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced its pricing structure for Windows OneCare Live, its upcoming subscription-based safety and security software service for Windows XP users. Additionally, the company revealed its expected timetable for delivering the service to consumers.

 Microsoft describes Windows OneCare Live as a PC health service that is continually running in the background on a PC, providing round-the-clock protection and maintenance capabilities. The product includes a virus scanner, a two-way firewall, performs various system tune-ups, and provides data backup facilities. Later this year, Microsoft will also integrate OneCare Live with Windows Defender, the company’s anti-spyware solution.

 Dennis Bonsall, a Microsoft group product manager, told me last week that Microsoft would deliver major beta refreshes of Windows OneCare Live in late February and April 2006, and then deliver the product to consumers in June 2006. OneCare Live will cost $49.95 a year, and will protect up to three PCs as part of its home licensing, though Bonsall noted that the initial version of the software will liberal about cutting people off above three PCs, because Microsoft won’t introduce a PC deauthorization feature until a later release.

“We’re treating this as a subscription, not a fixed purchase,” Bonsall told. “That’s driven by customer feedback: People find the yearly upgrade process with security software to be confusing.” Additionally, Microsoft will include free phone, email, and online chat-based support with every OneCare Live subscription; the company had tested all three formats during the beta and found that testers enjoyed them all. Speaking of testers, those who beta tested OneCare Live will be able to purchase the final product for $19.95 for the first year if they sign on during April 2006. After that, the price reverts to the normal $49.95 fee. “It’s an appreciation thing,” Bonsall said. “A number of our testers have given us valuable feedback. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Before its June release, OneCare Live will be updated with two major beta refreshes. The first, due in late February, will see the integration of Windows Defender. Then, at the end of April, Microsoft will end the OneCare Live beta.

One feature that will be missing from OneCare Live is anti-spam and email application integration. Microsoft tells me most of its customers are happy with the anti-spam facilities offered by their email providers or ISPs, and that such functionality would be redundant in OneCare Live. Looking to the future, Bonsall tells me that future versions of OneCare Live will be more configurable and customizable, and will offer more seamless integration with Windows Defender (the initial version will ship before Windows Defender is finalized). However, because of its online nature, OneCare Live can be updated regularly over the Web, so customers won’t have to wait for future versions to get new functionality.

The final version of Windows OneCare Live will be compatible only with Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), though Windows Vista will also be supported when that system ships in late 2006. OneCare Live will be available as a Web download and in boxed packaging in retail and online stores. The initial version of the product will be available only to the US market, and will be localized only to English, but Microsoft expects to start up international betas by the end of 2006.

 Not a Bad price if you ask me,

SOURCE Zacks Friend Paul Thurrott

Posted in Security | 3 Comments »

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2006 at 3:57 am and is filed under Security. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses

  1. Deansweb2004 Says:

    Hey Patrick, Can you split the text into paragraphs to make it easier to read? Cheers…

  2. Patrick S Says:


  3. Patrick E Says:

    “Zack’s Friend” .. ha ha ha I sense some sarcasm there 😉