Windows OneCare Live Beta 2
February 9, 2006
Microsoft has released the beta 2 public release of its new security suite aimed at Windows XP SP2 users. The new Windows OneCare Live security program has been in beta for the past year or so and we've been beta testing the software for quite awhile now, but we couldn't show you any pictures or tell anything about it due to our confidentiality agreement with Microsoft, but now we can since it's a public beta. Our full review below talks about the strengths and weaknesses of this highly-anticipated program.Ever since the beginning of Windows, there have always been lots of security vulnerabilities
This OneCare Live is one way that Microsoft hopes to lessen the amount of the holes and the amount of damage that can be done via the vulnerabilities. The current beta is only for users of Windows XP SP2, but the program is geared for usage on Windows Vista when it comes out towards the end of 2006. OneCare Live will be priced at $49.95 for one year of service when it comes out, which is priced fairly competitively with other leading security suites from Symantec or McAfee. Microsoft is hoping that users will like the seamless integration of OneCare with Windows XP (or Vista) and will choose OneCare over a third-party suite.
With this beta 2 release, Windows OneCare Live includes the usual bells and whistles that you'll see in a modern security suite, except for one big thing,
Windows OneCare Live easily shows you the status of your system and recommends an action to take to get your system to the "green" level.
The OneCare firewall protects against most outside attacks, just as the Windows Firewall in Windows XP SP2 does, but it also controls and limits which programs are allowed to connect to the Internet, just like most third-party personal firewalls do. Turning the firewall off allows all programs to access the Internet but does not turn off protection against attacks on the
One of the many advisories that Windows OneCare Live displays. They are very informative and helpful, even a computer novice can easily understand what is going on.
The antivirus module included in OneCare Live is actually pretty good. By default, it monitors all files as they're accessed and cleans or quarantines any that contain viruses or malicious programs. There isn't, however, any scheduled scanning except through the Tune-up module, which we'll talk about later and its heuristic scanning for virus-like behaviors is turned on by default, which is usually turned off by default in most third-party suites.
Windows OneCare Live also includes a fairly solid file backup module as well. It allows you to
The backup module allows you to easily select and choose which folders you want to be included in the backup.
The Tune-up module ties all these above features together and does them all at once. It periodically defragments the hard drive, runs an antivirus scan, checks for files that need to be backed up and even checks for missing updates from Microsoft's Windows Update just in case Windows XP's automatic updater missed some. You can set Tune Up to run at any time on any schedule with the scheduler and this is good because you can choose a time when you aren't using your computer because the Tune Up does take quite awhile, even on an AMD Athlon XP 3200+ CPU and 1GB of RAM. This is, however, a very handy feature for the novice computer user that just wants everything done automatically without fuss.
The second beta of Windows OneCare Live offers a great preview of the security/maintenance suite and is promising, but it certainly isn't ready for a full public release. There are still many
Pros: Easy to use, fairly good firewall and antivirus modules, automatic Tune Up that takes care of everything in one easy step
Cons: No antispyware module, little shy on the backup features, some firewall holes, slow Tune Up
View Screenshots of Windows OneCare Beta 2
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