Microsoft Announces Protection & Maintenance Service

On the heels of its recent acquisitions in the security and anti-spyware markets, Microsoft has announced a planned all-in-one service that will automate security and system maintenance tasks for a yearly fee.

By Michael Hall | Posted May 13, 2005
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A little of Microsoft's intent in its February acquisition of security firm Sybari was revealed today as the company said it's undertaken internal testing on a new all-in-one security and maintenance service.

The company today announced that its employees will soon begin to sample the company's own dogfood with "Windows OneCare," a one-stop "protection, maintenance and performance tuning" service for Windows-based systems.

Details are still vague, but the company offered a list of functionality it expects the service to cover:

  • Automatically updated anti-virus, anti-spyware and two-way firewall protection.
  • Performance and reliability tools, which will permit users to have the service automatically perform maintenance tasks such as disk cleanup, hard-drive defragmentation and file repair.
  • Backup and restore capabilities, enabling automated backup on CD and DVD, along with the option to perform either complete or incremental backups.
  • Automatic notification of available updates or other recommended actions.

After a period of company-wide testing, Microsoft said it expects to release the software for a more widespread public beta "later this year."

Pricing for the service hasn't been set, but it's expected to be made available on an annual subscription basis.

In a statement, Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Technology Care and Safety Group at Microsoft, said "We're designing the service so it will continually update and evolve over time, helping to ensure that our customers will have the most complete and effective protection and safety services in place every time they turn on their PC."

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