November 29, 2005 9:00 PM PST

Microsoft offers security test drive

As promised, Microsoft has opened up the test for its forthcoming OneCare Live security subscription product to the general public.

OneCare marks Microsoft's long-anticipated entry into the consumer antivirus market, which has been the domain of specialized vendors such as Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro. Two years ago, Microsoft announced its intent to offer antivirus products when it bought Romanian antivirus software developer GeCad Software.

Microsoft unveiled its plans for OneCare in May. Select testers have been invited to try it since July, and Microsoft recently added features to the beta. The product is now available for testing by anyone with a U.S. English version of Windows XP with Service Pack 2, a Microsoft representative said Tuesday. Final release is expected in 2006.

OneCare is meant for consumers and combines anti-spyware software--which Microsoft is also publicly testing--with antivirus software, firewall software and several tune-up tools for Windows PCs. Microsoft has not announced pricing for OneCare but has said the final package will be offered as a subscription service.

Microsoft is also eyeing the enterprise security market. By year's end, it plans to release an initial test version of a new "Microsoft Client Protection" product to defend business desktops, laptops and file servers against malicious code attacks.

The OneCare beta can be downloaded from ideas.live.com. As the number of testers increases, Microsoft may delay access to the service for some users, the company said in a corporate blog late Tuesday. "These pauses will allow us to see how we're doing and assess our readiness to scale to the next level," according to the blog posting.

The beta will be available at no cost. Microsoft did not specify when the beta will end. But when the final version of the service is ready, testers will be told pricing details and invited to be among the first subscribers, the blog stated.

12 comments

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One Care
OneCare is a great program, I have signed up for beta test and am invited to test. the program is pretty tight, and is great. the best is the GUI (User Interface)
Posted by winmatrix (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
"Don't Care"
If you like nice User Interfaces go Apple.

You'll get better protection than "Don't Care" and become hip at the same time.
:-)
Posted by UntoldDreams (91 comments )
Link Flag
...dear Microsoft representative:
It's great that you designed a program - that you shouldn't need in the first place - so well. That way you'll let a customer pay for design flaws and security problems... and feel good about it!
Posted by MahRain (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
In a perfect world....
In a prefect World There would be no money, because there is no need, there is peace on Earth, Our nations openly share with each other all of our resources, bacon would be good for you, every woman would be your personal dream girl, and John Bolushi would still be alive. Anyone but George Bush would be president, and everyone would love America. And there wouldn't be millions of bored kids looking for every little hole in an OS created by man, who is not perfect.

Grow up man, not everything in this world is perfect, in fact nothing in this world is perfect. So Microsoft is just doing what it can to help the average user protect itself the best it can.

Maybe the best way would be to build everything the average user needs onto one easy to use dvd, so the user can install Their OS with everything else they need to stay safe forever, with auto updates to keep current. That would be cool....but wait, they can't because of people like you who ******* about monopolys and software bundles... I guess this is the best they can do to help you out....
Posted by petacos (40 comments )
Link Flag
Talk about your protection rackets
It can not be said that MS doesn't have guts. Who else would produce a unsecure OS and have the nerve to charge people to fix it?

It is like a car maker charging to repair faulty parts during a recall.

How about actually producing an OS that doesn't need AV or anti-spyware? Isn't that a better solution? Others have done it, why can't a company with billions manage to do it? No, it is not because windows has the market share, it is because windows machines are the easiest to hack and cause trouble with.

Any 12 year old can exploit windows, but you can not say the same for any *nix variant. Sure there are exploits for other OS's, but none that can do much damage on any specific machine, nor can it spread itself.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Simple
<<How about actually producing an OS that doesn't need AV or anti-spyware? Isn't that a better solution?>>

Easier said then done. If Windows fundamentally changed in how it is designed, people would b!tch
about losing compatibilitly. Heck, the outcry after XPSP2 was histerical to me. Everyone wanted more security and the second they changed some things...."dont install!! it breaks programs!!" Well you cant have your cake and eat it too. I remember when Longhorn was first being devised there was a concept to completely do away with the system registry...Did they?!?! Nope because more people would b!tch about compatibility. Given the legacy needs they are in a tough spot. Who knows, maybe singularity becomes the future of Windows with some sort of Virtual PC layer to handle compatibility...There is no easy answer.

Long story short...might be a good time to get off a sinking ship...
Posted by BlinkMM182 (63 comments )
Link Flag
About the title....
I haven't yet read the article...but, Microsoft and Security in the same sentence!!!!!!!
Posted by indrakanti (90 comments )
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