Windows OneCare Live – now in public beta

WLSafety icon.gif(no breaking news here, just getting caught up since LiveSide has only been up for a week!)

Security, security, security. Not only is it a big problem, but it's big business, and Microsoft is entering the home market arena with Windows OneCare Live, a set of programs and services that are designed to provide security features and system maintenance for the novice computer user. OneCare, which provides anti-virus and firewall protection, a quite rigidly enforced backup option (to cd/dvd or external hard drive only, at this point), as well as disk clean-up and defragmentation maintenance, is available in a public beta at . While the public beta does not include all the access to the product groups available to those in the smaller "managed" beta, there's a quite active forum, and you can still apply to get into the managed beta.

Of course for many of the beta testers, who are almost by definition computer enthusiasts, One Care takes a little too much control. For its intended audience (my Dad, your Mom??), folks who don't know much about computers at all and just want to be safe, its turnkey approach to security and maintenance may be just what they're looking for. Microsoft certainly hopes so.