Microsoft today said it plans to charge consumers $49.95 per year
to protect up to three computers with its forthcoming Windows
OneCare Live PC security service.
The software, designed to help consumers better secure their PCs
from nasty viruses, Trojans and other malware, is still expected to
be ready for the public in June.
Launched as a beta last November, OneCare is one response to the
glut of security attacks propagated on machines running Windows
It's also a way to crack into the multi-billion-dollar security
software market patrolled by top security software vendors Symantec
The company said in a statement it has conducted research showing
that most consumers' computers don't have the necessary security
software to keep out viruses because users don't want to be bothered
with the chore of securing their PCs. The company also found that
most users don't back up their files.
Microsoft describes OneCare Live as a "just take care of it for
me" service for consumers.
When it launches as a paid subscription service this summer,
Windows OneCare Live will include: anti-virus and firewall
protection; anti-spyware functionality powered by Windows Defender;
regular PC tune-ups to help maintain computer performance; and
reliability; backup and restore functionality; and help and support
A Microsoft spokeswoman said in an e-mail to internetnews.com
that Microsoft will offer anti-spyware technology in a new OneCare
beta in the next few months.
To further whet customers' appetites for the service, Microsoft
today announced a promotional deal offering the first year of
Windows OneCare Live service for $19.95 to beta customers who become
subscribers between April 1 and April 30, 2006.