In the wake of reports that its Windows Live OneCare security suite is inadequate, Microsoft announced plans this morning to release a OneCare Live 2.0 beta soon. OneCare Live 2.0 will push beyond the suite's security focus to provide continuous and holistic care of all the PCs in a household, Microsoft said.
"Windows Live OneCare continues to evolve by providing consumers with new features and unified integration between PCs," a Microsoft representative told me yesterday. "OneCare version 2 marks a significant step toward the support of a typical multi-PC household and home network as more and more consumers become a part of multi-PC households."
According to Microsoft, OneCare Live 2.0 will include all the security features of OneCare Live 1.5 and will be able to be licensed for as many as three PCs per household. OneCare Live 2.0 will also include wireless connection setup and security features, a boot-time optimizer, automated monthly computer usage and security reports, online photo backup functionality (for an additional charge), unified monitoring and maintenance of networked PCs, printer sharing, and automated PC tune-ups.
Meanwhile, OneCare Live 1.5 is performing poorly in security tests. According to online comparison Web site AV-comparatives.org, OneCare Live 1.5 received the worst score out of the seventeen products tested. As a result, OneCare Live 1.5 was the only security product not to be certified by the Web site. However, Microsoft said that OneCare Live 1.5 is certified by West Coast Lab's Checkmark certification system, "the de facto standard in Europe for security product certification and testing to real-world standards."
The OneCare Live 2.0 beta will begin in late April, and Microsoft plans to ship the final version of OneCare Live 2.0 in third quarter 2007. You can sign up for the beta at Microsoft's Web site.