Microsoft Preps OneCare Live For June

Microsoft yesterday announced that they would soon begin charging for their online, self-updating PC care service known as Windows OneCare Live. The service is currently in beta and free of charge.

Windows OneCare Live, Microsoft said, will remain free until April 30. At that time, it will become available in June through retailers and via the web as a $49.95 annual subscription for up to three PCs. Beta testers who become subscribers between April 1 and April 30 will be offered a first year discounted rate of $19.95.

For those that don’t know about Windows OneCare Live, it is an online service offered by Microsoft for automated protection, maintenance, performance tuning and support of personal computers. Features include continually updated anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware protection, regular PC “tune ups” which help maintain computer performance, backup and restore functionality and personalized help and support via e-mail, phone or chat.

“Consumers have made it clear they need more assistance than what’s offered today, and we are excited to deliver the value of improved protection and maintenance in one comprehensive solution,” said Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Technology Care and Safety Group at Microsoft, in a statement. “Windows OneCare Live eases the frustration of protecting your PC and gives consumers greater peace of mind so they can spend less time worrying and more time doing the things they enjoy.”