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Windows Live OneCare Takes Retail Leap - InternetNews.
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Windows Live OneCare Takes Retail Leap

Microsoft's first retail attempt to enter the antivirus, anti-spyware marketplace is now on store shelves. Though Windows Live OneCare is new to store shelves, over half a million users are already using the software as beta testers.

First announced just over a year ago, Windows Live OneCare offers maintenance, backup and performance tuning in a subscription-based offering.

And in addition to the antivirus and anti-spyware programs, OneCare replaces the default Microsoft Windows XP SP2 firewall and replaces it with one that monitors both incoming and outgoing traffic. The default Windows XP SP2 firewall only monitors incoming traffic.

In an interview with internetnews.com last year, Dennis Bonsall, a group product manager at Microsoft, explained that users have found it too hard to use existing products in the marketplace.

Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Technology Care and Safety Group at Microsoft echoed the sentiment in a blog post announcing the retail availability of the product.

"Our Windows customers told us that they didn't have the time, or in some cases the expertise, to keep up with the protection and maintenance tasks required to keep their PCs running well," Hamlin wrote.

"For example, our research showed that only 1 in 10 consumers were effectively backing up their valuable personal data, including music and photos. These customers wanted a new approach to PC care -- a 'just take care of it for me' experience. That's why we developed Windows Live OneCare"

Windows Live OneCare costs $49.95 per year on a subscription basis for up to three PCs. It is now available as both a direct download from Microsoft or through over a dozen retail stores across the U.S.

The Microsoft offering enters a market that is expected to become increasingly competitive.

Both Symantec with its Genesis platform and McAfee with its Falcon platform are expected to step up their respective efforts to compete against Microsoft.