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Microsoft Unveils OneCare Anti-virus For Vista

Microsoft on Monday released a new beta for its Windows Live OneCare security service, marking the first time that the anti-virus software runs on Windows Vista.

Windows Live OneCare Beta 1.5, which can be downloaded and used free of charge, is available in 17 localized editions for countries that include the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. Earlier editions were for U.S. customers only.

Other improvements and additions to 1.5, said a company spokesman, include tighter integration with Microsoft's Windows Defender anti-spyware software, more back-up options (to USB-connected hardware and PCs on the local network), and support for Windows Vista RC1 (build 5500 or later, specifically).

"Beginning today, we will be making the Windows Live OneCare (v1.5) beta available on http://ideas.live.com and continuing the roll out over the coming weeks," wrote Gina Narkunas, lead product manager, on the OneCare blog.

OneCare first made waves in February when Microsoft announced a $49.95 price and three-PC license for the service. Since then, the Redmond, Wash. developer has been at loggerheads with security software partners such as Symantec and McAfee, which also sell Windows security suites to consumers.