Windows Live: Is it Worth It?

Dennis Faas's picture

Because I previously wrote about the Windows Live trend of software as services, Dennis asked me to answer the following question submitted by "Jeanie":

" Can you tell me any thing about this 'Windows Live One Care'? I downloaded it to try it. Of course, it had disable my antivirus completely. Can you tell me, does Windows Live work and is it any good? "When I replied, "Jeanie, this is probably not meant for you," watching Dennis' double-take via email made my day. ;-) I'm known to defend most things Microsoft and generally I'm pretty enthusiastic over their innovatio ns.

Let me explain.

First: What is Windows® Live™ OneCare™ beta?

Running as a service in the background, Windows Live provides virus protection, does PC tune ups and enables backup (to an external hard drive) automatically and simply. The interface is so much like the Security Center in the XP Control Panel, it is easy to forget that you are actually online. The tune-up is little more than setting Disk Cleanup and Defrag on a scheduled basis and forcing some System Restore points. As you noted, you trading the free AVG for a paid Microsoft brand anti-virus, which has no track record but in all likelihood will be a fine product.

Even in the beta that I tried several months back, Windows Live ran fairly well. The Forum, Blog and Support were top of the line. OneCare Live works and pretty well, even in the present beta form. It is being offered at an introductory price of $19.95/year to beta testers till April 30. 2006 and will be sold at $49.95/year (covering up to 3 computers) when it goes to market. (Source:

So why isn't this meant for Jeanie?

If you're reading Infopackets, you aren't a careless user. You're concerned about your computer and willing to take steps to insure it runs well. You want to learn and you take responsibility for your machine.

However, the target market Microsoft is aiming for is small businesses (primarily), and the totally careless user. And I sincerely hope OneCare reaches them all because in doing so, our lives would a whole lot better. With less vulnerable computers on the Internet, that translates to less unwanted SPAM, and fewer denial of service attacks against places I want to surf. In short: the Information Superhighway will be a nicer place to surf!

Managing the PC without Windows Live

As I write, my Task Manager is set to launch a cleaning routine (thanks to Fred Langa for the tip).

Ashampoo's Magic Defrag, an Infopackets suggestion, is keeping my multiple partitions and drives well ordered and tightly arranged. Windows Defender (the beta is still not playing nice with Update, but it is improving) is monitoring spyware and Spybot ran this morning and will again tonight and AdAware chimes in once a week to triple check for nasties. AVG updated at 6:00 AM and will scan tonight at 9:00 PM. Around 4:00 PM Acronis True Image, another gem Dennis suggested to me, will backup the partitions, I've specified to their external drive.

My system purrs!

As you can see, with a little care and some initial planning and prep work, all the features offered by OneCare can be done and totally free. Infopackets readers know or can learn how by reading our articles and asking for our help.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet