RealTime IT News

A Microsoft Price on Security

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 software.

It's also a way to crack into the multi-billion-dollar security software market patrolled by top security software vendors Symantec and McAfee.

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 services.

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.

Customers can download the OneCare beta here.