Of interest: Windows Live OneCare security suite to be included with many new PCs

Of interest… OneCare to be preinstalled in new PCs from several PC manufacturers…

To address the growing security and management needs of today’s new PC user, Microsoft Corp. is working with 11 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Sony Corporation of America and Toshiba Asia Pacific to preinstall trial subscriptions of Windows Live OneCare on select new PCs across North America, Europe and Asia. Windows Live OneCare provides all-in-one security and anti-malware protection for consumers and small businesses along with tools that automate and simplify PC management and performance.

New Alliances Continue Momentum for Windows Live OneCare: Manufacturers choose Microsoft’s all-in-one security suite to help protect and maintain their customers’ PCs.


No, that’s Albany as in the subscription service beta, not upstate New York

The question I was asked as I was making my sandwich at an onsite conference…

“So, you work with the product groups… what’s happening in Albany today?”

No, that should be “What is Albany?”

See the news here on the Beta launch of New All-in-One Service for Consumers, as told by Group Product Manager Bryson Gordon on Microsoft PressPass today…

“… Albany” is the codename for a new all-in-one subscription service of essential software and services consumers told us were most important to them. We’ve pulled together the productivity tools people need to organize their lives, security to help keep their personal information safe and online services that make it easy for them to keep in touch with friends and family, and folded them all into a single service that also ensures the user’s PC is running the latest security and productivity software.

“With just a few clicks, “Albany” subscribers will be able install the whole package, which includes Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, giving them the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for their personal and school projects; Windows Live OneCare to help keep viruses at bay and their computer fast and healthy; and Windows Live Mail, Messenger and Photo Gallery so they can connect and share with others. Albany also installs the Microsoft Office Live Workspace connector on the Microsoft Office toolbar, so users can save documents to their own dedicated online workspace and invite friends and classmates to collaborate and share.

“Additionally, with “Albany” consumers get the latest versions of Microsoft Office Home and Student and Windows Live OneCare as they’re released. Combined with ongoing security updates, consumers can have the peace of mind that they have protection from the most recent security threats and that their PC is running at its peak.

“The beta program we’re announcing today spans a broad cross-section of users and is an integral part of bringing a new service to market.”

As Ina Fried said in her blog today

“Microsoft is planning to introduce a limited beta version of Albany in the coming days, with the aim of launching the product commercially sometime later this year, Gordon said. The company still hasn’t decided on how much it will charge or how the product will be sold, he said.

“In talking about the product, Microsoft did not refer to Google Docs by name, but I have said a subscription product might be Microsoft’s way of trying to find a more palatable way of charging for Office amid stepped-up competition from free and online rivals.

“By tying the Office subscription to OneCare, Microsoft is linking the purchase to one of the few areas where consumers have shown a willingness to pay for software–security. In this way, Microsoft can make the pitch to those buying security software that, for some extra dollars, they can always have the latest version of Office as well.”

Also of interest on CNet News…

Tags: Microsoft, OneCare, Office, Saas.


Lifehacker’s Thanksgiving download: a dozen PC fix-it tools

Of interest is this item on, just in time for the holidays, “Geek to Live: A meaty Thanksgiving download.” In a 17MB download, it promises that they will “save you the trouble of chasing down half a dozen PC fix-it tools in the midst of your post-turkey coma. Instead we’ve put together everything you’ll need to right your famliy’s borked computer into one meaty Thanksgiving download…”

Lifehacker’s Thanksgiving PC Rescue Kit – (zip file, 17MB)

“This zip file contains half a dozen free tools we recommend to scan and clean and protect a malware-laden PC. Either download right now and save to your thumb drive, or bookmark this page for next week’s tech support session. The entire file is less than 17 megabytes, which will leave room on your USB drive for those Neil Diamond tracks Mom asked you to download for her.”

Additional resources:

Also check out my past posts on computer security, here on protecting your pc and here on screen scraping, trojan horses and stronger passwords.

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Article: there’s “no immunity” from security vulnerabilities

This weekend I blogged that when it comes to security on your computer — whether it’s a Mac or a PC — it pays to be prepared no matter what platform you use. I received feedback in comments and via email on the post. Today I received a link in the mail to the article “No Immunity for Macs,” by Mitchell Ashley on both Linux and Mac News, who writes… 

“The fact of the matter is that despite Apple’s work to maintain the image of Macs as secure devices, researchers are concentrating much more heavily on finding underlying security vulnerabilities in Mac software. As a result, we are seeing security patches for Apple software now on a regular basis.”

The point I made this weekend is that no one is immune, and everyone should protect themselves, Mac or PC. IMHO, there is no “safer” computer.  I have both at home and I wouldn’t think of hooking either computer up to the network without adequate protection.

The author of the article also includes his top things to do Mac OS X users should do to secure their computers, which I’ll suggest applies across the board (and some look familiar, having made similar suggestions in past posts):

  1. Don’t be complacent. Don’t be a victim: be prepared.

  2. Apply security updates. With Windows, turn on Microsoft Update and Automatic Updates. With Macs, apply any OS security patches as available.

  3. Use a bi-directional personal firewall.

  4. Practice good WiFi security connections. See my post on What’s so bad about unprotected wireless?

  5. Use AntiVirus (AV) software.

  6. Use good security practices with Windows virtualization.

I noticed that PC Magazine has a Security Suite Smackdown, Part I on their site: “These apps aim to give you an impregnable defense, protecting you from every threat under the connected sun. Antimalware—antivirus, antispam, antispyware, antiphishing—if it’s out there, they’re against it. Add in firewalls, content filtering, parental controls and keylogger detection, and you’ve got a online suit of armor that’s theoretically proof against any and all threats. And the armor has done a reasonably good job, by and large.”

More info:

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OneCare v1.5 Beta for Vista now available

Windows Live OneCare Beta 1.5 is available and supports Vista RC1 and greater, and can be downloaded and used free of charge, is available now on

From the FAQs:

What operating systems are supported?
Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista (build 5500 or greater; recommended build is 5600 aka RC1)

Can I use Windows Live OneCare with Windows XP or Vista x64 versions?
Not at this time.

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