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Windows Live OneCare - Caring or Careless?

This week, Microsoft began offering Windows Live OneCare. For $49.95 per year, you can get your PC (up to three of them) protected, maintained, and backed up.
I can see how this plan came about...
Steve: "Man Bill, making our OS secure and reliable is expensive."
Bill: "So charge the users for it."
Steve: "What?"
Bill: "Didn't you learn anything under my tutelage? When you find a weak spot, you offer a subscription to fix it, then act like you're doing the users a favor and charge for it."
Steve: "Will they put up with that?"

Bill: "Oh yeah, they always do. So tell them you can secure it and protect their data... But make sure you don't make any guarantees. Those might mean we actually had to be secure and the backups had to be usable."
Steve: "Right. So make it like an exclusive thing, where only those who join get in on the ground floor of this new bridge-buying project..."
Bill: "You've got the idea. And one last thing, remember that we do not collect personal data when doing online activities, but occasionally there is programmer error..."

So what do you get for it? The security that you should have gotten with the OS purchase, apparently, you get for your fee now. You also get backups - wonder how well that works over dialup? You get disk optimization - the tools for which are distributed with your PC and could have been done sans Internet access, and even though it's called OneCare, it's apparently 1/2 Care, because I couldn't purchase it through FireFox. Makes me wonder how well it supports non-MS applications when doing backups.

But it sure seems that most of the functionality they're offering is already in Windows.

Now on the web page, Microsoft compared this to a car tune-up service. I think there's a world of difference. My car doesn't need to be tuned up once a month on a day that is now spitefully known as patch Tuesday. My car works perfectly with any kind of gasoline or motor oil or spark plugs or wiper fluid I put into it. And my car doesn't wave red flags at passing auto thieves, inviting them to enter the unlocked door. I can swap the engine out on my car without it refusing to run. And finally, my car doesn't ever have "programmer errors" that result in it notifying someone about who I have given rides to.

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