Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner finally discontinued

By damaster | Posted April 15, 2011 30 comments

Windows Live OneCare Safety ScannerBack in November 2008, Microsoft discontinued their subscription-based anti-virus software Windows Live OneCare and replaced it with the free Microsoft Security Essentials tool. However, one of it’s closely related product – Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner, an online anti-malware scanning, PC clean-up, and diagnosis tool, was never discontinued and always remained available at http://safety.live.com until this date. In fact, a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars Technica back in 2009 that they "have no plans [at that time] to discontinue support of the Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner … and will assess how to evolve the Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner as we get closer to the OneCare end-of-life."

It’s worth mentioning that the tool only supported Windows XP at that time. Although a beta version was made for Windows Vista, it never made it to final release. The tool was also continued to be made available in Windows Live Messenger up until Wave 4 for scanning viruses and malwares from file transfers.

Fast-forward three years later, Microsoft has finally decided to discontinue this product and replace it with Microsoft Safety Scanner. This tool has now been updated to support Windows 7, but will no longer perform tasks like PC clean-up and diagnosis. Here’s Microsoft’s description of this new tool:

The Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free downloadable security tool that provides on-demand scanning and helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It works with your existing antivirus software.

Note: The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires 10 days after being downloaded. To rerun a scan with the latest anti-malware definitions, download and run the Microsoft Safety Scanner again.

The Microsoft Safety Scanner is not a replacement for using an antivirus software program that provides ongoing protection.

We’re not sure why anyone would want to download this tool, given that Microsoft’s actual anti-virus offering, Microsoft Security Essentials, is far more superior and provides better real-time protection. Nevertheless, it’s been long enough for Microsoft to discontinue this service, and to be honest, we not sad to see it go. So there it is, another one joining the deadpool. We wonder what’s left?

Posted April 15th, 2011 at 7:05 am
Category: News
Tags: Deadpool, Windows Live
  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    Nothing surprising, really…

    Any more news regarding the new Hotmail Calendar reminders coming up soon? Yes, I’ve read the ‘deleted’ post, LiveSide. It’s still on the RSS feed…

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    Nothing surprising, really…

    Any more news regarding the new Hotmail Calendar reminders coming up soon? Yes, I’ve read the ‘deleted’ post, LiveSide. It’s still on the RSS feed…

  • Chris

    Nice to see they are doing some clean up

  • Chris

    Nice to see they are doing some clean up

  • rb1385

    I think it is time for new direction from Microsoft beginning with a new Chairman.

    • Mario Albertico

      I don’t see how discontinuing Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner has anything to do with stripping Bill Gates of his last and only Microsoft title…

      • Pathfinder2000

        Actually i meant CEO Steve Ballmer. I just think the whole Microsoft orgination needs new leadership…. the stock has been stuck for years and the innovation is being done by other softweare companies.

        Hopefully things are starting to change and like discontinuing Windows Live OneCare Scanner they can discontinue slow innovation.

        • Chris

          I agree. Even microsoft employees think balmer needs to go.

        • Mario Albertico

          Maybe, yes–no one can deny the fact that Ballmer (and company) messed up with Windows Mobile, Live Search, Windows Live, etc. However, we should also note what has come out of Microsoft recently: Windows 7, Bing, Kinect, Yahoo! deal, Facebook deal, Windows Phone (+ Nokia deal), IE9, and even things as simple as Security Essentials, keeping/pushing the Zune brand/services, and so on. Almost all of those have something in common: Microsoft underestimated the competition and just sat back. But, it clearly looks like they have awoken and Ballmer appears to be deeply passionate (and crazy) enough to remind Google and Apple of Microsoft’s potential. At this point, I don’t know if someone at Microsoft stands out as a possible CEO. I say, let Ballmer play out his finals years (he’s not exactly ignoring his company’s position any way), and then the company can deal with a top-down restructuring.

  • Anonymous

    I think it is time for new direction from Microsoft beginning with a new Chairman.

    • Mario Albertico

      I don’t see how discontinuing Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner has anything to do with stripping Bill Gates of his last and only Microsoft title…

      • Pathfinder2000

        Actually i meant CEO Steve Ballmer. I just think the whole Microsoft orgination needs new leadership…. the stock has been stuck for years and the innovation is being done by other softweare companies.

        Hopefully things are starting to change and like discontinuing Windows Live OneCare Scanner they can discontinue slow innovation.

        • Chris

          I agree. Even microsoft employees think balmer needs to go.

        • Mario Albertico

          Maybe, yes–no one can deny the fact that Ballmer (and company) messed up with Windows Mobile, Live Search, Windows Live, etc. However, we should also note what has come out of Microsoft recently: Windows 7, Bing, Kinect, Yahoo! deal, Facebook deal, Windows Phone (+ Nokia deal), IE9, and even things as simple as Security Essentials, keeping/pushing the Zune brand/services, and so on. Almost all of those have something in common: Microsoft underestimated the competition and just sat back. But, it clearly looks like they have awoken and Ballmer appears to be deeply passionate (and crazy) enough to remind Google and Apple of Microsoft’s potential. At this point, I don’t know if someone at Microsoft stands out as a possible CEO. I say, let Ballmer play out his finals years (he’s not exactly ignoring his company’s position any way), and then the company can deal with a top-down restructuring.

  • Mario Albertico

    I thought Windows Live Messenger depended on WLOSS (nice, lol) for file transfer malware scanning, but I see that Messenger has been stripped of its file transfer security options; hadn’t noticed that until now. Does WLM depend on SmartScreen now or something?

  • Mario Albertico

    I thought Windows Live Messenger depended on WLOSS (nice, lol) for file transfer malware scanning, but I see that Messenger has been stripped of its file transfer security options; hadn’t noticed that until now. Does WLM depend on SmartScreen now or something?

  • http://www.edmartechguide.com EdmarTech

    Well, they have the money to burn.

  • http://www.edmartechguide.com EdmarTech

    Well, they have the money to burn.

  • http://goddersuk.livejournal.com/ GoddersUK

    So how does this new tool differ from the Microsoft Malicous Software Removal Tool – http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-removal.aspx – shouldn’t these products be merged?

    • Damaster – LiveSide.net

      Based on the Microsoft Security & Safety Center website, here’s the difference between the three tools:
      – Microsoft Security Essentials – provides real-time ongoing protection
      – Microsoft Safety Scanner – provides scanning to remove malicious software. Tool expires 10 days after being downloaded.
      – Malicious Software Removal Tool – only detects and removes specific malicious software on this list: http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-families.aspx . Tool is updated monthly.

      Each tool does serve their specific purposes given different scenarios. But for most people out there, Microsoft Security Essentials would be the best choice out of the three.

      • http://goddersuk.livejournal.com/ GoddersUK

        The usages scenarios for the Safety Scanner and the MSRT seem to overlap a lot though, imho.

        I think it would make sense to combine the Safety Scanner and the MSRT into one tool. Instead of distributing a new version of MSRT every patch Tuesday (as they currently do) they could just send the latest version of the Safety Scanner down Windows Update instead. It would be in Microsoft’s interest as it means less pieces of software to write and maintain and in the consumers interest as the Safety Scanner casts a much wider net and will hence remove substantially more malicious software.

        That’s what I’d do in their position, anyway.

  • http://goddersuk.livejournal.com/ GoddersUK

    So how does this new tool differ from the Microsoft Malicous Software Removal Tool – http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-removal.aspx – shouldn’t these products be merged?

    • damaster

      Based on the Microsoft Security & Safety Center website, here’s the difference between the three tools:
      – Microsoft Security Essentials – provides real-time ongoing protection
      – Microsoft Safety Scanner – provides scanning to remove malicious software. Tool expires 10 days after being downloaded.
      – Malicious Software Removal Tool – only detects and removes specific malicious software on this list: http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-families.aspx . Tool is updated monthly.

      Each tool does serve their specific purposes given different scenarios. But for most people out there, Microsoft Security Essentials would be the best choice out of the three.

      • http://goddersuk.livejournal.com/ GoddersUK

        The usages scenarios for the Safety Scanner and the MSRT seem to overlap a lot though, imho.

        I think it would make sense to combine the Safety Scanner and the MSRT into one tool. Instead of distributing a new version of MSRT every patch Tuesday (as they currently do) they could just send the latest version of the Safety Scanner down Windows Update instead. It would be in Microsoft’s interest as it means less pieces of software to write and maintain and in the consumers interest as the Safety Scanner casts a much wider net and will hence remove substantially more malicious software.

        That’s what I’d do in their position, anyway.

  • Yuan

    I like Microsoft online tune up tool cause I trust it to clean up windows registry without any problem.Can Microsoft offer any free tuneup tool for us?

  • Yuan

    I like Microsoft online tune up tool cause I trust it to clean up windows registry without any problem.Can Microsoft offer any free tuneup tool for us?

  • http://www.comsysgroup.com/ GE Security Systems

    This is a great security tool.

  • http://www.comsysgroup.com/ GE Security Systems

    This is a great security tool.

  • Ragegnst

    ANyone have any ideas on a clean up tool? I used this extensiveley and disappointed to see it discontinued.

  • Ragegnst

    ANyone have any ideas on a clean up tool? I used this extensiveley and disappointed to see it discontinued.