Many people don’t have the time or technical expertise to keep up on PC management and protection. Today Microsoft released the next version of Windows Live OneCare, which provides all-in-one, self-updating PC Care designed to help consumers and small businesses maintain the security and performance of their PCs. Windows Live OneCare, a subscription service part of the Windows Live family, is available at major retail outlets in seventeen countries and can also be downloaded at http://onecare.live.com.

For proper PC care, most consumers need more than just anti-virus software. Although such protection is clearly a must-have, electronic assets such as digital photos, music and financial data must also be protected. Furthermore, today people are putting more “miles” on their PCs, which can lead to system clutter and performance degradation. And with multi-PC homes and wireless networks becoming mainstream, consumers must deal with the additional complexity of things such as printer sharing and network security.
For the typical consumer this can present a huge challenge. But consumers do not want to deal with a disparate mix of products that must be purchased, installed and maintained; instead, they just want their PCs to work, which means they want the following:
• Software to help protect them from viruses and other threats.
• A PC that consistently runs quickly and efficiently.
• Protection of valuable data, regardless of its format or location.
• Simple instructions when user action is required.

Microsoft Windows OneCare 2.0 includes the following features:

Protection Plus

Protection Plus in Windows Live OneCare means anti-virus and anti-spyware protection, a managed two-way firewall, and automatic updates to help ensure that consumers have the latest definitions to help protect their computers from hackers, viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other unwanted software. Protection Plus includes the following features:

Ø  Integrated anti-virus and anti-spyware protection. Windows Live OneCare integrates anti-virus and anti-spyware technology for an improved experience for consumers, making the technology more accessible by combining the two filters into one comprehensive safeguard. In real time, Windows Live OneCare anti-virus scans or monitors the files on a subscriber’s computer and looks for virus definitions (patterns in the code that resemble those of known viruses) or identifies files that are behaving like viruses. If an infected file is found, Windows Live OneCare automatically cleans it to help prevent harm to the consumer’s computer. Windows Live OneCare also scans files received via Windows Live Messenger and enables consumers to scan files or folders on demand with a simple right-click on those files or folders.

Ø  Managed, two-way firewall. One-way firewalls aim to keep hackers from breaking into a computer; however, they can be ineffective against viruses or stealth programs, such as zombies or spyware, that run unnoticed in the background and send information from a consumer’s computer to the Internet. Windows Live OneCare addresses the challenge of delivering two-way protection in a highly usable way. It features a managed, two-way firewall with ongoing policy updates to help protect PCs from hackers when sending or receiving data.

Ø  Microsoft Update integration. During installation, Microsoft automatically enrolls customers in the Microsoft Update service and set their preferences to receive and install important updates to Windows and to other Microsoft products. By helping its subscribers stay up to date, Microsoft helps ensure that they will receive important security updates efficiently and on time.

Ø  Automatic OneCare updates and upgrades. Continuous updates deliver and implement ongoing virus definitions, firewall policies, anti-spyware rules, performance-tuning routines and commonly backed-up file types. The subscription experience helps ensure that enhancements are automatically and continuously delivered so consumers do not need to worry about updating manually. In addition, with an active Windows Live OneCare subscription, customers are automatically upgraded to the next version of the service with new features as soon as it is available.

Ø  Windows Live OneCare advisories. When significant new worms, viruses or other security threats are identified, Windows Live OneCare advisories can be sent to consumers’ PCs to let them know the status of their protection so they can take appropriate action if any is needed. Only when absolutely necessary will Windows Live OneCare prompt consumers for their action on a task. 

Performance Plus

Performance Plus in Windows Live OneCare delivers PC tune-ups to help maintain computer performance and reliability, and eases management in a multiple-PC environment. Performance Plus includes these features:

Ø  New. Proactive fixes and recommendations. Performance Plus looks at the specific configuration of the user’s system and makes proactive fixes and recommendations to improve the computing experience.

Ø  New. Start-time optimizer. Performance Plus speeds PC boot time by allowing the subscriber to remove rarely used applications from the start-up menu. This helps to address one of the noticeable areas of concern for PC users.

Ø  New. Monthly reports. The Monthly Report provides a summary of key actions that OneCare has performed in the last month, as well as activities and recommended actions for all PCs in a local network.

Ø  Automated maintenance tasks. Performance Plus automates important janitorial tasks such as disk cleanup and disk defragmentation to help keep PCs running at peak performance.

Ø  Virus scanning. Performance Plus runs a complete virus and spyware scan to check the entire computer for malicious programs. If any infected files are found, Windows Live OneCare automatically takes steps to help prevent harm to consumers’ computers by blocking access to the file until they decide what to do with it.

 

Backup and Restore

Security intrusions are not the only cause of data loss. Accidental deletion and disk failure also pose a threat to digital photos, music, financial data, software and other important electronic assets created as part of the digital lifestyle. Windows Live OneCare makes it easy for consumers and small businesses to back up files to CD, DVD, locally networked computers, external hard drives and most USB-enabled storage devices.

Ø  New. Centralized backup enables users to centrally configure and monitor backups for all PCs covered under the same Windows Live OneCare subscription, with the data from all PCs backed up to a central location.

Ø  New. Online photo backup keeps precious photos safe from theft or accidental loss by backing them up to an off-site location in Windows Live Folders (available at an extra cost).

Urs