Hardware

OneCare -- The details on cost and when it will be released

Microsoft has released its product plans on the release of OneCare (officially named "Windows OneCare Live"), the all-in-one desktop solution that does antivirus, firewall, antispyware, backup, defrag, and it will even paint your mother-in-law's kitchen (although that feature is coming later in a service pack). This consumer-aimed product will be released in June and it will cost $49.95 and the license will let you install it on up to three computers.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I've been beta testing OneCare and have been surprised to find how much a like it — mostly because it gets the job done without being a resource hog. However, I must admit that the cost of $49.95/year surprised me a little bit. I expected it to cost about $30/year per PC. I like that the license covers up to 3 PCs. That essentially makes it cheaper than what I expected, but it's clear that Microsoft is aiming this at multiple-PC households, because I don't know that I would recommend it to my grandfather or my mother-in-law at $50/year for a single computer. Of course, I have it loaded on more than three computers right now, so I'll probably end up putting it on my home desktop, my laptop, and my wife's desktop. The rest of my machines can live with AVG or Avast.

If you'd like to try out the OneCare beta you can sign up here. Apparently, Microsoft is going to offer some of its beta testers a discount of $19.95 for the first year, so it might be worth trying out if you think you might be in the market for this product. It could also become a potential solution for small businesses, home offices, and remote offices.

About Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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