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Microsoft to kill Windows Live OneCare RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi Steve:

    Please make this post sticky, for the benefit of potential WLOC users.

    Thanks,

    Efrain

     

     

    Microsoft to kill off Windows Live OneCare next year (Updated)

    By Emil Protalinski | Published: November 18, 2008 - 04:35PM CT

    In a very surprising move, Microsoft has announced today that Windows Live OneCare customers will be getting the shaft next year. The software giant has decided to replace OneCare with a free security solution (codenamed "Morro") to be released in the second half of next year. The yet-to-be-announced product will be a realtime anti-malware protection solution, whereas OneCare offered that plus backup and management features. Sales of the Windows Live OneCare subscription service as well as Windows Live OneCare for Server on SBS 2008 will end on June 30, 2009.

    If your subscription is about to run out, I'd suggest looking for an alternative instead of renewing a product that is on its way out the door. Sure, OneCare will continue to be available online until Morro is available and your subscription will still work until it ends, but Microsoft's decision makes the company look unreliable.

    When the new solution becomes available, OneCare users will have the option to move to it (it will be available everywhere OneCare currently is), but few will be happy enough with Microsoft to do so. Still, Morro will be free. I'll reserve judgment until we have some more information, but for now it's hard to argue with gratis. What are your thoughts on this out-of-the-blue development?

    Update

    Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley is reporting that Microsoft Equipt, which Microsoft announced just a few months ago, is also going the way of the dodo. The company will be offering refunds and will allow customers to keep the included Office Home & Student edition for free.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:08 AM

All replies

  • Hi, Efrain.

    The official information from Microsoft will be posted in the announcements section as it becomes available to me. While I understand the desire to share this information widely, since it is opinion, I'll let it float to the top as people respond to the thread rather than make the post "sticky" to call extra attention to it.

    I've got an opinion, too, and lots of questions. I'm not sure that I agree with the author that the decision to stop selling OneCare in June and to stop supporting it a year after makes Microsoft look unreliable. I also don't believe that it makes OneCare a poor choice for security for the duration of the existing subscription. I do agree that people should consider alternatives if their subscription is about to expire and I'm sure that we'll have lots of discussions on that here.

     

    -steve

     

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 5:55 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Steve.

    I am indeed surprised to learn OneCare is discontinued as of June 30, 2009. I am rather disappointed, too, that Microsoft made that decision.

    We might get Morro as a substitute, but what about the built in firewall - will we have to go back to Windows firewall ?

     

    Thanks,

    Anders

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:03 PM
  • I don't know the answer to that, Anders, and am waiting to learn what the future holds. Honestly, I'm not sure Microsoft knows the details yet.

    -steve

     

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:15 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm really interested in the suddenness of the announcement. There was a major product rollout last week of Small Business Server 2008, including publicity for the new version of OneCare For Server included with SBS2008. Now, six days later, that's a deceased product. That's an odd sequence of events!

     

    Here are my thoughts and questions, FWIW: http://www.bruceb.com/news/2008_11_01_archive.html#3676009154207678404

     

     

     

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 9:19 PM
  • This is not a good thing for Microsoft to be doing.  Live One Care is a good product.  I very much like the central location for caring for all the PCs in the house as well as the backup and firewall features.  Please Microsoft, don't kill this product!
    Thursday, November 20, 2008 3:27 PM
  •  Valisystem wrote:

    I'm really interested in the suddenness of the announcement. There was a major product rollout last week of Small Business Server 2008, including publicity for the new version of OneCare For Server included with SBS2008. Now, six days later, that's a deceased product. That's an odd sequence of events!

     

    Here are my thoughts and questions, FWIW: http://www.bruceb.com/news/2008_11_01_archive.html#3676009154207678404

     

    Unfortunately, your article is incorrect on one key point, OneCare will NOT stop being supported on June 30th, 2009, but rather in December of 2010 or whenever your subscription term ends, whichever comes first. This means that your example of a user purchasing a renewal in April of 2009 would end support in April of 2010.

     

    As you suggest, I intend to continue using OneCare at least until the new free 'Morro' product is available so I can determine if that will provide what I require. I also intend to investigate the Windows Live SkyDrive product during that time as a potential replacement for the backup portion of OneCare, since that's really a much more effective method of off site backup anyway. I won't personally miss most of the other features of OneCare that much, though I'm sure some others with multiple PCs will.

     

    OneCareBear

    Thursday, November 20, 2008 4:34 PM
    Moderator
  • It didn't seem right that OneCare would simply be turned off on June 30 but I hadn't seen anything until your post that clarified how long the updates would continue. Has there been any official confirmation that it will continue to be updated for a year (or more) after June 2009?

     

    Thursday, November 20, 2008 5:03 PM
  • Ah, now I see it in the OneCare blog post: "Microsoft has committed to making sure you are protected for the life of your subscription." That makes it sound like the product will be kept updated for at least a year after June 2009. Let us know if any more information emerges about that!
    Thursday, November 20, 2008 5:15 PM
  • Yes, you found it before I could respond. What I stated above is the official line, since you can purchase a renewal through at least the release of the new product you will receive full support including updates through the end of that one year subscription term. With 'Morro' projected to release in 2nd half of 2009, that would mean at least until mid-2010.

     

    Everything I've seen supports this, so I'd simply keep your descriptions keyed to the timing of the individual user's subscription term. Since this will vary there isn't a useful end date that can be declared, though theoretically it would be based on the actual date of sale of the last OneCare renewal.

     

    OneCareBear

    Thursday, November 20, 2008 5:30 PM
    Moderator
  • I do not see why OneCare needs to be completely killed off

    Once the antimalware and firewall are taken out, what is left will not need much updating.

    Surely Microsoft can convert it too a free or once only payment extremely useful maintenance package?

    If htey don't someone else will and surely Microsoft has ahead start and can do it better?

     

    Please ask them to look at this.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008 11:45 PM
  • Steve,

    I have used OneCare since it's inception and have been very, very happy with it. I had intended to stay with OneCare because it simply works, and works better than any comprable program that I have used. I am fortunate in that my subscription renews in April 2009. If I am understand properly, I can renew in April 2009 and enjoy my full twelve months of OneCare before having to move to something else in 2010.

     

    Honestly, OneCare is a great program, because it simply works and works well, much better than Norton or McAfee

     

    Lonny

    Friday, November 21, 2008 12:28 AM
  • I'm pretty bummed -- really like OneCare and have recommended it to several people.

    I really like the central backup feature -- my two Vista machines and daughter's XP machine backup every morning to a USB drive. 

    Any guesses on whether "Morro" will have the backup, tuneup features?  They're just as useful as the protection features to me.


    Friday, November 21, 2008 1:48 AM
  • Why would MS kill such an awesome product.  Let me suggest this possible answer.  There are a vast number of people that continue to run "outdated" antivirus programs because they don't want to pony up the doe (at any price).  When these machines become infected, they serve as a "carrier" of the malware and often are used to propagate the spread of the malware.  Since the vast majority of "slime ball malware generating scum" prey on MS products, it has very likely become a significant factor in the choice many people have made to move to Open Source or other products.  Thus ... free AV to protect MS machines makes sense.

    I think a lot of people that have adopted OneCare have similar concerns that I do.  It is a question of features and functionality.

    Will the Morro product have the same "features" as OneCare?

    I have made a lot of my customers very happy by directing them to OneCare, then selling them an external drive w/configuration of their OneCare for backups.  They love it.

    Please tell us that Morro will have these features.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 7:54 PM
  • CSmart said:

    Will the Morro product have the same "features" as OneCare?

    I have made a lot of my customers very happy by directing them to OneCare, then selling them an external drive w/configuration of their OneCare for backups.  They love it.

    Please tell us that Morro will have these features.



    Nothing further on the details of Morro have been forthcoming, but the initial announcement was clear in that Morro would only be antivirus/antimalware/antispwyare. Basically, that would mean that Morro builds on the protection of Defender to provide additional protection. It will not include any of the other features to the best of my knowledge.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Wednesday, February 4, 2009 4:38 PM
    Moderator
  • CSmart said:

    Why would MS kill such an awesome product.  Let me suggest this possible answer.  There are a vast number of people that continue to run "outdated" antivirus programs because they don't want to pony up the doe (at any price).  When these machines become infected, they serve as a "carrier" of the malware and often are used to propagate the spread of the malware.  Since the vast majority of "slime ball malware generating scum" prey on MS products, it has very likely become a significant factor in the choice many people have made to move to Open Source or other products.  Thus ... free AV to protect MS machines makes sense.

    I think a lot of people that have adopted OneCare have similar concerns that I do.  It is a question of features and functionality.

    Will the Morro product have the same "features" as OneCare?

    I have made a lot of my customers very happy by directing them to OneCare, then selling them an external drive w/configuration of their OneCare for backups.  They love it.

    Please tell us that Morro will have these features.



    CSmart,

    Though you fully understand the core issue of why a free anti-malware product is needed, you've missed the broad set of reasons why OneCare failed. Though when supported by a skilled individual like yourself it was quite powerful and effective, the technical complications of the additional features simply increased the support burden for the product without adding significant protection for most users to offset the added cost. This also resulted in some users, especially those who are highly technical, being turned off by the limited controls and features that often existed in competing products.

    For example, though you fully understand that a simple USB external drive is effective for the purpose of backup, many users wanted the speed of eSATA or even internal drives instead, which lead to many support issues and unhappy customers. Though this really doesn't affect you directly, it indirectly meant that only a small percntage of [potential] users were being effectively supported as the product existed.

    What they've done by falling back to a free anti-malware only product is effectively remove the entire suport burden for all the ancillary features, along with the overhead of such required support platformas as .NET 2.0 and possibly others. This means that much of the support infrastructure simply evaporates and as Steve stated, Morro becomes effectively the equivalent of Defender on steroids, capable of detecting and protecting from all types of malware, but without any of the unrelated overhead included in OneCare.

    Though a [relatively] small community of dedicated individuals really understood and loved OneCare for what it could do, it didn't succeed in simplifying security to the point that all, or at least most users could manage it without significant support. Since this was the original reason that Microsoft bought an antivirus and an antispyware company and created their own consumer product(s), OneCare wasn't fulfilling the role it had been designed for. So it doesn't surprise me that when the economy caused Microsoft to take a hard look at their product line, OneCare was slated for replacement by something that at least sounds like it might fulfill that original purpose more effectively and at a lower overall cost to Microsoft.

    OneCareBear
    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Thursday, February 5, 2009 5:20 AM
    Moderator
  • OneCareBear,

    Thanks for the additional insight.  I have actually had to work through a few eSATA deployments, so I can relate to the support problems.

    While I am still not pleased with the loss of OneCare, the information you provided does give some insight to Microsoft's decision to kill the product.  Hopefully, Microsoft will consider giving OneCare users a selection of approved products to replace the "ancillary" features.

    Thanks again,

    CSmart

    Saturday, April 25, 2009 6:53 PM
  • Stephen,

    I heard a rumor that OneCare and PCSafety will merge and that would be "Morro".
    Is that true?

    Lance
    Saturday, April 25, 2009 8:06 PM
  • Stephen,

    I heard a rumor that OneCare and PCSafety will merge and that would be "Morro".
    Is that true?

    Lance

    I have not heard that rumor. I doubt that there is any truth to it, either.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Monday, April 27, 2009 1:24 PM
    Moderator
  • will morro be free for windows xp users will it be a free complete security solution for all computers?
    Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:55 PM
  • will morro be free for windows xp users will it be a free complete security solution for all computers?

    As stated in a Microsoft PressPass article referenced in the Announcements 11-18-08 thread at the top of this forum:

    “Morro” will be available as a stand-alone download and offer malware protection for the Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. When used in conjunction with the ongoing security and privacy enhancements of Windows and Internet Explorer, this new solution will offer consumers a robust, no-cost security solution to help protect against the majority of online threats.


    The intention is to support all current consumer client operating systems.  So Windows 2000, which was designed for business, server (Windows 2003/2008) and earlier operating systems will not be supported.  This should affect few if any consumers and is exactly the same as what was supported by OneCare.

    OneCareBear
    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Friday, May 29, 2009 4:45 PM
    Moderator
  • So what is the best suggestion for upgradeing to Windows 7, something like AVG or ... Other suggestions appreciated.
    Friday, June 19, 2009 7:23 PM
  • Since Windows 7 is still an unreleased product, nothing currently being provided for protection is truly a released version either.  So if I were you, I'd try the new free antivirus from Microsoft that will be coming out in Beta next week (June 23rd).

    FYI, Windows 7 should only be installed on a test PC at this point, not a production PC that you use every day and depend on.  It's likely you will have to reinstall the PC from scratch at release, since the final version is likely to have changed.

    See the post at the top of this forum for more information.

    OneCareBear
    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Friday, June 19, 2009 7:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I'm very disappointed to see OneCare being discontinued. I've used OneCare for several years and have recommended it to lots of friends. The customer support was excellent (live people on the phone if really necessary!) and once I understood the subscription-based renewal process it was no nice to just enter a new product key and not have to modify any software on my PC's. The backup feature really saved me once when I lost everything on my laptop. I had become fed up with Norton which didn't clean up after itself very well when you installed new version. Getting Norton 2002 off was about as hard as removing a virus! I can't say how well the antivirus works because it never finds anything (so that means it's working, right?). Anyway, no problems with viruses since OneCare. I'll try Morro after my OneCare subscription expires. I'm glad that is not until next year. So glad they are going to support it until all the subscriptions expire! Barb
    Old Programmer
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 8:05 PM
  • Shaemoor,

    Yes, those who actually tried OneCare and understood what it was trying to do generally found it to be quite effective, it was simply misunderstood and expected to be something else by many of its detractors.  Unfortunately, it also required a bit of a programmers mind (both you and me) to fully understand the idiosyncrasies of the Windows Live ID system, especially for those not already using Hotmail for their email.

    Unfortunately, you'll be loosing the backup capability with Microsoft Security Essentials (was Morro), but you'll be glad to hear the anti-malware protection is the same core protection that was found in OneCare.  The limited beta for MSE just opened last Tuesday June 23rd, and though there are a few rough edges mostly within the update system, it's already showing great promise as an even lighter resource, simple anti-malware product for the Windows world.

    Since it's targetted to be available by the time Windows 7 is released later this year, you should have time to test the final version well before your subscription expires.  I plan to switch immediately (really already have), but will begin moving those less technical friends with OneCare after the final is released, probably as they purchase a new Windows 7 based PC in many cases.

    Rob
    Sunday, June 28, 2009 9:45 PM
    Moderator