Friday, January 06, 2006

Windows One Care Live...Beta

The software giant Microsoft is at it again. They are starting off the new year with more goodies for us techies. Some are truly useful and some are bad for small business owners. I am going to evaluate Windows One Care in today's blog.

First of all what is One Care Live? The folks at Microsoft describe One Care as this:
"Windows OneCare is a comprehensive PC health service that goes beyond security to take an integrated approach to help protect and care for your computer." Bascially, its a complete pc protection program. Its a pretty novel idea. Most companies focus in on providing security for your computer. Some focus on the diagnostics of your pc. With OneCare Live they deliver the whole package all in one.


Hmmm...sounds pretty interesting. Opps did I forget to mention that this software is in beta right now. With that in mind one would expect some flaws. I downloaded and installed the beta on my machine a couple of weeks back. The install process was fairly simple. Just following the steps in the setup wizard is all that is necessary. After install the software loads.
Once in the software you can adjust the anti-virus settings, firewall settings and additional security features. It also provides you the ability to "tune-up" your pc. You also have the ability to backup your files (serves as a backup program also).


Those are some pretty good features in a one-stop software suite. Of course the features are more detailed but for this blog's purposes I just wanted to highlight them. After I setup all my One Care settings I powered my machine off. The next day and subsequent day thereafter I noticed "slowness" in my browser. Pages that would normally take a second to load would now take over 30 seconds to a minute. Frustrating. Another frustrating thing is that you have to use Internet Explorer 6.0 as your default browser. At the time Firefox was my default browser. One Care had major problems trying to access the internet for updates via Firefox. Frustrating once again.

Now I am a patient guy but after 4 days of being frustrated I said enough. Yes I uninstalled Windows One Care beta. During uninstallation I filled out a survey from Microsoft. I basically told them my frustrations with using the product...I truly hope they listen. The good things about all this is that again this software is in beta so they have time to get all the bugs out before the final release. Truth be told all the features of One Care live can be peformed via the control panel. However, the key concept of One Care is to perform those actions for 1)people who do not know how to do them or 2)for people who do not have time to do them.
I'm not giving up on One Care totally. The final version should be released sometime this winter. I'll check it out again then and see if my frustrations will continue.


Brian J. Winston
Consultant - Sofware & Web Development Services
The Brico Group, Inc.
bwinston@thebricogroup.com
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