MS Cancellation of One Care Program RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I can't believe that Microsoft is canceling One Care, after only reaching version two not very long ago. 
    Customers like me have gotten used to the automation of the program, have installed their home networks with One Care capability, and have months of backups using the backup functionality of One Care. 

    What a waste.  Sounds like Morro will be more like Defender. 

    I am going back to McAfee, and cancelling OneCare this weekend. 
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:08 PM

All replies

  • I wish I knew what the thinking was, but I agree that it is unfortunate that OneCare will be shelved. Morro will not be more like Defender, except that it, like OneCare will include Defender's protection and will build upon it to be a full antivirus soltuion. It will not, to the best of my knowledge, include any of OneCare's other features and I don't know what solutions might be provided to fill that void.
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator
    Friday, January 16, 2009 5:35 PM
  • Yes.  I didn't want to wait for a transition period to see what filled the gap. 
    Thanks for the response. 
    Saturday, January 17, 2009 8:33 PM
  • Actually, I think the direction Microsoft is taking now is far more clear than it was with Vista, especially including how OneCare was brought into the product line and helped create confusion within the product mix. Though OneCare itself is often lauded here by those of us who saw it as a solution to many of the problems inherent in Windows, that's actually one of the key reasons I see that caused its demise.

    What OneCare did was make clearly evident to Microsoft that customers see the security issues as part of the operating system, not a separate issue to be dealt with by various third-party security products. If you examine the most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Report in detail, you'll discover that the gap between vulnerabilities affecting Windows XP and Vista is significant and thus the requirement for anti-malware protection with Vista is much narrower. The default configuration for the Windows Vista Automatic Update system is also much more aggressive and at the same time less intrusive, and includes background defragmentation, so the need for a system 'Tune-Up' has been made virtually non-existent. This means that as a result, Windows Vista really only needs something similar to a 'Morro' type anti-malware product to provide the range of additional protection it requires.

    It's also clear that the changes being made within Windows 7 include items such as better device management and easier ways to access files, so the need for add-on abilities such as printer sharing should be reduced.

    As for backup and other ancillary features, some of these are covered to some extent by features of the Windows Live Essentials products, since for most home users, the most important data includes pictures and a few other files and backing up to the Internet is far safer than local backup. Though these products don't perfectly replace the OneCare features, the direction Microsoft is taking is clearly to perform the approriate tasks via the Internet rather than on the local PC.

    Though the above doesn't necessarily help small business, this was a side light for OneCare anyway, since the original intent was as a consumer protection product only. OneCare clearly had begun to take a role far outside its original scope and actually placed itself at risk by competing with Windows upgrades as the method to enhance abilities such as printing and sharing.

    I know this post will encourage the usual "Microsoft can't force me to upgrade" rants, but that's actually the point. If you choose not to upgrade the operating system on a PC that could support it, you've chosen to keep the security risks and limitations of the older operating system. This is really no different than keeping old application programs around well beyond their useful life and actually much more dangerous.

    Let me be clear that I'm not saying that everyone should upgrade to Vista now and then Windows 7 when that is released as that would be foolish. I'm just saying that it makes strategic sense to either purchase a new PC with a more secure newer version of Windows or if the PC is a recent model, purchase a Windows OS upgrade to make better use of the available hardware and provide it's improved features. Buying these features within a security product to patch the outdated OS systems together really makes little sense at all.

    I'm personally glad to see that Microsoft appears to be creating a more coherent strategy towards the future of all their products, removing those that significantly overlap and don't really provide the abilities in the correct places. OneCare's legacy is truly as the 'wake-up call' to Microsoft that their OS and in fact their entire consumer product direction had lost focus and become fragmented.

    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 10:54 PM

    Thank you for taking to the time to position the technical issue for MS.

    However this a fundamental question for Microsoft:

    Beware MS products that evolve into Subscription Service and then cuts you off !

    What options please..  MS Uncare customers having used the product to construct their home computing environment addressing Local configuration, AV protection and backup... and then MS retires the Product.  

    But still wants your money or you will loose your product and private backup data. Ransom ?

    We do understand MS wants revenue from their AV security update service/product update.


    ·        Does current MS product capability die/freeze… if you do not renew Subscription?

    ·        Is it fair or legal for MS to entrap customers by holding “their local backup” ransom?


    MS customers exploring options.

    Monday, January 19, 2009 1:47 PM
  • Wellwornsalt,

    Your post is premature, since OneCare Subscriptions are still available to be purchased until at least June 30th, 2009 and will be supported for at least the life of those purchased (1 year) subscriptions into 2010. No one is holding you hostage except your own mind, you can spend the time to convert to a different product any time within the next year or so.

    At this point we don't know if Microsoft will provide any tools to access your archived backups after OneCare becomes unavailable, but personally I would never have expected this in the first place, since these were always tied to a continued subscription. For some this might be an important reason to make a switch soon, for others like myself the backups are only to protect current data, so archives have no real value other than redundancy anyway.

    So for many this issue may not exist, but for those where archives are important it might make sense to change to another product sooner rather than later. For those with archive type requirements like a business, it would probably be better to look for a major commercial product using standardized tape or other archive formats. OneCare was never designed or recommended for this purpose and this would have been mis-application of the program.

    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Monday, January 19, 2009 3:38 PM
  • Carebear,

    Thank you for your honesty and sound advice. 
    "You say... since these were always tied to a continued subscription,  and ... Onecare is not the right fit for backup when archive is needed"

    Perhaps it might be sensible to buy MS product(s), but to avoid MS subscription service for home use.

    To provide feedback to the forum. You might like to consider something along the lines....

    Beware: If you go beyond Onecare subscription renew date/or June 2009 you will loose access to your System back'edup data.


    It would be useful to discover if there is to be workaround to export the backup.dat when Onecare support finally dies in June 2010.
    Thanks again for the clarity.


    Monday, January 19, 2009 4:22 PM
  • Wellwornsalt,

    Unfortunately, since we Moderators are all volunteer users like yourself and not Microsoft Employees we can't make such direct statements without the information being provided from an official Microsoft source first, so we're waiting for exactly the information you mentioned as well. My musings here are all simply my own observations of the best information we have available at the moment.

    As for access to the backup data, we already understand that the format of that data on disk is simple zip files for small files (under 64KB if I recall correctly) and multiple zip files of this size with sequence numbers to contain larger files. These zip files are all stored in a simple folder structure that duplicates the path names to the original location on disk. However, at least for writable destinations such as external or central hard disk, these file structures have modified rights intended to protect the data from deletion. So these rights would need to be modified to allow browsing of the data. The multiple numbered files can also be reassembled by free tools found on the Internet, so worst case the data is still recoverable manually.

    I noticed I also forgot to mention that the Anti-malware portion will continue in the new free Morro product set to release in 2nd half of 2009, which may also contain some additional configuration protection, though we won't know until it's announced or provided in beta form. I don't expect there to be a backup offered, but won't know for certain until that time.

    Once Morro becomes available, Microsoft has indicated there will be information available to help OneCare users migrate, so for my own purposes I'll wait for that information before making any transition decisions myself.


    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Monday, January 19, 2009 4:45 PM
  • Hi OneCareBear

    What will happen to Windows Defender then, I noticed it is switched off each time OneCare is installed, will this be the case for so-called Morro?

    Thank you

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 3:45 AM
  • messianic,
    Yes, it is my understanding that Morro will *include* Defender plus antivirus protection, so Defender will be disabled with Morro installed. You can also choose to not use Morro, but to use Defender and a 3rd party antivirus product, for example.
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator
    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 2:57 PM
  • Sounds good Steve.

    I just hope there will be something to fill the "void" with respect to general system maintenance as I think that's what people really want and by that I mean the silent-protection thing first but the other stuff second.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:21 PM
  • messianic said:

    Sounds good Steve.

    I just hope there will be something to fill the "void" with respect to general system maintenance as I think that's what people really want and by that I mean the silent-protection thing first but the other stuff second.

    Assuming the Morro product contains similar realtime anti-malware protection as we'd expect, the remaining system maintenance tasks found in Tune-Up aren't really that difficult to automate as the following Microsoft at Home article shows.

    Put your PC maintenance routine on autopilot

    Of course this doesn't include backup, but the other items like unnecessary file cleanup, defragmentation and even Check Disk are covered in detail. In fact, since each operation is set up as a separate scheduled task it's possible to create different schedules for each, and in fact this could allow the PC to wake from stand-by which OneCare has never done.

    I've mentioned before that it would be nice if Morro included option(s) to enable these scheduled tasks in a simple way, maybe with default settings of every week or two, then you could simply go modify the default schedules manually if you preferred a different time frame.

    Backup is a separate issue since not all Windows versions have a backup program installed by default, though they are generally available on the original installation CD. However, most would probably be better off with an online backup or Picture upload facility anyway, since this moves the data off site which is better protection than any local backup can provide.

    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:35 AM
  • Thanks OneCareBear.

    Can all these things you are talking about be implemented via a Snap-in for example, such as the Performance Monitor?

    I think there are many good things happening in relation to these types of interfaces, even in just the plainer views like Windows Update and System etc.

    I've always liked MMC, but it's true it can crash occasionally, however if the shortcuts and so-forth are easy to find and navigate then I personally see no real issue here except to say that I've never been so fond of having to type diskmgmt.msc for example and I've always wondered why I even have to type an extension at all unlike .cpl files.

    I believe if the above situation can be addressed at a more fundamental level then great strides would be made in terms of general uniformity across the board insofar as system management is concerned, but having said that I never did get to try omitting the extension and just went back to Vista anyway since I ran into problems with search crashing and so forth but I was nonetheless disappointed with search in the latter mentioned system anyhow.

    Thanks for your time.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 12:37 PM
  • Hi there,

    I've been trying for 2 weeks to cancel my Onecare account. I can't seem to reach anybody on phone, I keep leaving messages and no one calls back. Is there another mean to cancel OneCare? I'm due to renew in the beginning of februrary.



    Friday, January 23, 2009 7:52 PM
  • MartinPE said:

    Hi there,

    I've been trying for 2 weeks to cancel my Onecare account. I can't seem to reach anybody on phone, I keep leaving messages and no one calls back. Is there another mean to cancel OneCare? I'm due to renew in the beginning of februrary.



    If you are in North America, try this number to cancel your subscription:



    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator
    Monday, January 26, 2009 3:20 PM
  • Anyone know if the shutdown is a go ahead, and wondering about the progress of the security software that's supposed to be part of windows 7, (and that's to replace one care as well).
    My Specs: Homebuilt Multiboot (6 XP partitions, 1 Win 7 partition) ECS 945 GCT-M/1333 MoBo Intel Dual Core E2180 2.0 Ghz CPU 2-1Gb Dual Channel A Data RAM (667Mhz) EVGA 8600 GT w/1Gb DDR2 Video (Two 17" CRT monitors,Dual View) Soundblaster Live 24 bit soundcard TSST Super WriteMaster DVD burner w/ Lightscribe WD 160Gb SATA II HDD (7 OS's) WD 320 Gb SATA II HDD (6 Storage Partitions) Xa Combo pack (Case,keyboard,Laser mouse,380 watt PS) My Band: myspace.com/benttwisted
    Friday, May 15, 2009 12:54 AM
  • Anyone know if the shutdown is a go ahead, and wondering about the progress of the security software that's supposed to be part of windows 7, (and that's to replace one care as well).

    There have not been any more details provided about plans and progress. Morro is on target to be available in the 2nd half of this year and OneCare will continue to be available for now, with new activations and renewals being disallowed later this year or early next.
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Friday, May 15, 2009 1:01 PM