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Windows Live OneCare 2.0 Beta available

Windows Live OneCare 2.0 Beta available

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Looking at my father's PC I always faced the same problem: I wanted to give him a solution that actually took care of his PC without having me too often involved J. Some time ago, we had some particular solutions:

  • Backup (use the backup in Windows)
  • Anti-Virus (use a third-party product which often brought a lot of functionality I never wanted)
  • Anti-Sypware (hmm, a free-ware that flagged every cookie as spyware)
  • Disk Defragmentation (I was not too happy with it on XP but, well, it worked)
  • Firewall (I used the one in Windows XP SP2 ad did not have outbound-filtering. Before that I used a freeware that prompted for every application that wanted to access the Internet)
  • PC Tuning (he installed a freeware from the Internet - much to my dislike)
  • ...

Now, look at my father: A PC-savvy person but he would never, ever be able to configure the machine that way and finally we ended up with me looking at his PC whenever we were invited for dinner - much to the "pleasure" of my wife L

When we launched Windows Live OneCare, I was then often asked about the AV-capabilities as this seemed to draw the most attention as we entered the AV market with this launch. It was mostly missed that we were actually launching PC-care software with much more in it than just AV and by the way we simply moved the whole industry in a more "care"-approach and away from traditional AV.

Today, we announced the availability of Windows Live OneCare 2.0 Beta, the next generation of PC-care. If you want to get some insights, we published an interview today with Gina Narkunas, lead product manager for Windows Live OneCare about v2.

Just some high-lights:

  • To further redefine and extend the concept of PC care, Microsoft added features to Windows Live OneCare such as multi-PC and home-network management, as well as printer sharing, to help address the modern home environment.
    In addition, this new version establishes a foundation to better address the needs of small businesses that must protect and maintain a number of PCs, but may not have the resources for onsite IT support. To help solve this problem, Microsoft added centralized backup to Windows Live OneCare, so local backup on a small-business network is a simple step instead of a time-consuming hassle.
  • Windows Live OneCare 2.0 will include features that are designed to simplify the management and use of multi-PC environments. For example, the new multi-PC and home network management feature will help ease the management of multiple-PC environments by providing a single navigation bar for monitoring the security and maintenance of networked computers. It will also enable one-click actions to resolve issues among computers within a home PC network.

Cool stuff!! As I said: We are brining PC care to a new level (did I already mention the free support calls you get?)!

If you want to have a look at the v2 Beta: http://connect.live.com/

Roger

Comments
  • I am part of the invited beta 2.0 test, but this one is very poor compared to the 1.5 beta which was very smooth to install and use (more so than the production version).

    I have tried three times to convey this through the official problem reporting tool but the following message is displayed after all the data is collected:

    "An unknown application error occurred. Please try again in a few minutes."

    Waste of my time if I cannot report the problems that I have encountered. So I post them here:

    1. Red icon. Tried all recommended actions (including repair exe), but still cannot update itself. Several days.

    2. Backups fail (Yellow), though some is done, sometimes! Since installation!

    3. Tuneup virus scan can run for almost a day and show just 20% done. Since installation.

    4. The help is still not context-sensitive (as in 1.5). This provides a poor user experience because the current help just dumps at a very generic help page and the search facility doesn't even know essential keywords let alone anything approaching the actual problem scenario. I have had to do a general Internet search to get something approaching an answer.

    I would expect a beta to basically do its job. The 1.5 beta seemed to. Both betas have been simple to install as compared to the 1.5 release. However, this beta is basically broken as it does not seem to be doing some of its major functions. I am not sure it is actually protecting anything now.

    The only thing that stops me going back to the bought 1.5 is the thought of going through the tortuous procedure three times. The purchased 25 digit ID would not register until I had jumped in and out of several unhelpful pages. As a technical writer I am used to deconstructing user interface processes, but I doubt whether I could acurately describe how I managed to get them installed. It was easy to get lost amonst being bounced back and forth between failed registration and USELESS help pages.

    I think your team needs to get professional help writers as the current help pages (beta and production) are very wordy and lack focus. The search fails to enable direct lookup of help relevant to the actual problem at hand, basically because it does not cover the range of problem scenarios.

  • Hi Patanjali,

    this is definitely not the experience we want you to have (obviously :-)).

    I will start to work on it but please give me some days. I am on vacation in the Swiss alps at the moment and will not be able to reach out to the product teams until the end of the week. I would appreciate if you could send me a mail to roger.halbheer@microsoft.com in order for me to have your contact to get back to you privately

    Roger

  • Hi Patanjali,

    Thank you for taking the time to try out the V2 Beta.  Our apologies for the issues you're running into--as Roger mentions, this is most definitely not the experience that we want you to have with the Beta!  

    We'd love to get more details on each of the issues you ran into.  Some of them may have already been fixed in a Beta refresh that we hope to release in the next few weeks, but we'd like to get more information from you to be sure.  Needless to say, we are working very hard on addressing any reported issues, and will not release the final product till we're satisfied with the quality.

    We do have active OneCare Beta forums (http://forums.microsoft.com/windowsonecare) that the entire OneCare team reads and is active on--it'd be great if you could you post your experiences over there.  If you prefer to mail us directly, we'd be very happy to hear from you: ocbeta@microsoft.com.

    Thank you again for taking the time to try out the Beta and post your comments--we really appreciate your feedback.

    Thanks

    Guhan

    Development Lead, Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft

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