Dave, since you had such a good answer to the question about Windows Vista I’m hoping you can tell me what the Windows OneCare program is? I just got a note from Microsoft about it, but it was busted and I only got the first two lines…
As part of its efforts towards making life with a Windows computer less hassle, Microsoft is moving towards a single virus, spyware, malware and software update suite that they’re calling Windows OneCare. Here’s what Microsoft is saying publicly about the upcoming program:
“Are you tired of spending time trying to protect and maintain your computer? Are you worried that you’re still not doing everything you should to keep it safe and running at optimal performance? If your answer is “Yes,” then Windows OneCare is for you. Windows OneCare is built specifically for people who don’t have the time or technical expertise necessary to secure and manage a computer on a daily basis. It is a comprehensive PC health service that goes beyond security to take an integrated approach to help protect and care for your computer.”
They’re just sending out invitations to join the beta program, and I managed to get my hands on one, so everyone could read it:
What is Windows OneCare?
Windows OneCare is a new, comprehensive, integrated PC health service from Microsoft that will help you:
- Increase computer security through antivirus and firewall protection.
- Improve and maintain computer performance through automatic tune-ups.
- Protect important files and photos through backup and restore features.
It is built specifically for people who don’t have the time or technical expertise necessary to secure and manage a computer on a daily basis. You can learn more about the product at http://www.beta.windowsonecare.com
What is a beta program?
In a beta program, a group of customers agree to try a new, unreleased version of a product. Through installing and using the Windows OneCare Beta, beta participants provide valuable feedback that we use to make this product easier to use and to better meet your PC health needs. The beta program plays a key role in our development process. Participation lets you share your ideas, and together, we will build a better Microsoft product!
If you are selected as a participant, you will need to:
- Follow the step-by-step instructions on how to install Windows OneCare. (Please note that this will require you to uninstall any existing antivirus products you are currently running.)
- Submit feedback and report problems to the Windows OneCare Beta Team in a timely fashion.
- Complete any surveys that are sent out during the beta period.
There is no charge to use the Windows OneCare Beta. We are looking for participants who are excited about the program and are willing to provide useful feedback throughout the entire beta period. Technical expertise is not a requirement to participate in the beta program.
The beta period is currently projected to start in July 2005 and run for several months. Please make your decision to participate carefully. Your feedback is crucial to the success of our product, and therefore, regular and consistent participation throughout the entire program will be needed.
How do I sign up?
If you would like to participate in the Windows OneCare Beta Program, please fill out our beta nomination survey. We will use this information to select program participants.
Note: You must follow these directions in order to access the nomination survey. Using a personal or previously assigned BetaID will not grant you access to this survey.
- Go to the Microsoft Beta Web site: http://www.beta.microsoft.com
- Sign in with your Microsoft Passport Network credentials. (MSN or Hotmail e-mail addresses and passwords are automatic Passport Network credentials. If you do not have Passport Network e-mail account, you can sign up for one through the Microsoft Beta Web site above.)
- When prompted to enter a Guest ID, type in OneCare (case sensitive).
- Click the Windows OneCare Live icon at the bottom of the page.
- On the next page, click the Survey link in the left pane, then select Windows OneCare Live Nominations.
- Complete the beta nomination survey.
If you are selected as a participant, you will be sent a welcome e-mail with further instructions. That e-mail will contain your Beta ID and password along with information on how to install Windows OneCare.
Due to the high volume of responses, we will only be able to contact those customers who have been chosen for the program.
Thank you for taking the time to review this information. We greatly appreciate your consideration of the Windows OneCare Beta Program, and we hope you decide to make a difference in Microsoft products.
Windows OneCare Beta Program Team
The Beta site also has some additional information on this program, which you can read for yourself.
If you do participate in the beta program, do me a favor and perform regular full backups: since you’re supposed to turn off all your existing (tested) anti-virus, anti-spyware and similar software, it’s important to realize that you are more likely to be infected with some new variant as Microsoft works out ‘the kinks’ in the new OneCare program.
Personally, as someone who hates all the hassles associated with running Windows as a desktop operating system, I’m delighted to hear about the program and look forward to it being a part of the standard Windows operating system distribution. Maybe OneCare will be part of Vista, who knows?