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Cost and ease of support? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was on One Care from day one. It was great and I strongly recommended it to everyone. What happened though? You use to have an easy to find 1-800# with the best in tech support available. Then you made the 800 # harder and harder to find. I used One Care 2 years and only needed to call the number one time, but they were great. I understand the cost of running 800 support is more to maintain, but it was a reason I started using One Care in the first place. When you dropped, or at least purposely hid the 800# you never reduced the cost of the service.

    I was going to renew my subscription, but found the $49 price with hard to find support dificult to swallow. If you still had the easily accessable support I'd find the high price easier to swallow, but like I said, you dropped the 800# and still kept the high price.

    I think the real topper that peed me off even more was you advertise on your web site the subscription and download at $49 per year, however, yesterday in Walmart I seen you have the CD in a Microsoft plastic case for only $29?

    How does that make sense? Its been a long standing tradition that we could download software (saving you the manufacturing and packaging cost) for cheaper than you could buy the physical disc in stores. Why is it only $29 when you buy the packaged product in stores, yet its $49 if you just download on line?

    Personaly, Windows should just have built in anti virus and protection, its been a known issue since forever, yet its never been adressed by Microsoft. You say you "listen" to your customers, seems you listen first though to the companies making millions off selling all of us anti virus software. Its cheaper and easier just to use a Linux boot disc like Ubuntu for a temporary OS that is free and 100% impossible to obtain a virus from while using on line in this way.

    Don't get me wrong, I love and trust Microsoft products, but $49 a year to protect me from holes in your software I should be protected from out of the box is just rediculous.

    I don't expect anyone "official" to answer these questions, the same questions have been around and never solved/adressed since Windows 3.11. However, I would appreciate someone "official" explaining to me why its only $29 to buy the packaged One Care product at Walmart but $49 to download the no packaging or material product online directly from your web site?
    Monday, May 4, 2009 5:26 AM

Answers

  • You'll never get an 'offical' reply for any of this, just lots of opinions on all sides.  I will mention though that OneCare is always sold by Microsoft itself at list price, while it is often sold by retailers at a discount attempting to compete for your business and hopefully sell you something else along with it.

    FYI, Linux is just as full of 'holes' as Windows, there's just very few using it and most have no money (kids), so it's not a target.  As for your other 'issues', they're really moot since OneCare will be ending sales in a few months and the free anti-malware you believe should exist finally will.  The reason has nothing to do with 'holes' (Vulnerabilities) in the software though, since these exist in every operating system and in fact all software and are regularly fixed for free when found in Microsoft products via Windows Update.

    The primary reason the free anti-malware is being provided is that the user is now the most common target of current exploits, since their own mistakes and gullibility often get them in trouble.  Note that many of the current attacks are completely operating system agnostic such as phishing and only require a browser and a person willing to fill in the blanks.  However, since there are still almost 10 times as many PC users as all others put together, which OS do you think will be involved most?

    To understand what is comming later this year, see the 'Announcement 11-18-08' thread at the top of this forum.

    OneCareBear
    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Monday, May 4, 2009 9:30 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You'll never get an 'offical' reply for any of this, just lots of opinions on all sides.  I will mention though that OneCare is always sold by Microsoft itself at list price, while it is often sold by retailers at a discount attempting to compete for your business and hopefully sell you something else along with it.

    FYI, Linux is just as full of 'holes' as Windows, there's just very few using it and most have no money (kids), so it's not a target.  As for your other 'issues', they're really moot since OneCare will be ending sales in a few months and the free anti-malware you believe should exist finally will.  The reason has nothing to do with 'holes' (Vulnerabilities) in the software though, since these exist in every operating system and in fact all software and are regularly fixed for free when found in Microsoft products via Windows Update.

    The primary reason the free anti-malware is being provided is that the user is now the most common target of current exploits, since their own mistakes and gullibility often get them in trouble.  Note that many of the current attacks are completely operating system agnostic such as phishing and only require a browser and a person willing to fill in the blanks.  However, since there are still almost 10 times as many PC users as all others put together, which OS do you think will be involved most?

    To understand what is comming later this year, see the 'Announcement 11-18-08' thread at the top of this forum.

    OneCareBear
    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Monday, May 4, 2009 9:30 AM
    Moderator
  • Linux may be just as full of holes, however I wasn't commenting on just "LINUX" as a hard drive installed OS. I was referring to Ubuntu Linux and the ability to run the entire OS from a read only CD or DVD. No one , no matter how good they are can write a virus to a closed read only CD. I have Windows Vista installed as my OS I use for personal use, however, when I go on line I boot to a read only Ubuntu Linux DVD, its 100% free and 100% impossible for me to get a virus even if I purposely try to get one. When booted to the Ubuntu disc I can read and open any email, visit any web site and do so without a care in the world. My Windows installed hard drive is locked out from anything writing to it. If something does happen, a reboot clears it and takes me back to it being on square one again. It makes you invincible, 100%, no anti virus software no matter how good it is can offer you that.

    I read now the link you suggested, that makes my initial question even more troubling. Why are they charging at all for a subscription to a service that is going to cease to exist in 1 month from now.

    Please, don't get me wrong, I do use Linux as I suggested above, I'm hardly a kid or someone thats broke looking for just free.I use Linux as I described above and for that very reason, the base OS really doesn't matter when your using your computer to just surf the internet. You don't have to "know" how to use Linux to boot to the Ubuntu CD and just safely surf the internet with it virus worry free. In many ways its safer for even the less knowledgeable, impossible to screw anything up. I love Windows though, I love the way it looks, I love the way it feels, I love the simplicity, I love the applications available to it.

    If anyone from Microsoft reads here, and I hope they do, here's a suggestion they should consider golden. Don't focus on making free anti virus software. Instead, just make a user switchable option that locks out the hard drive from being written to when on line. Just like what many of us in the know have discovered and been using with the Linux bootable CD's. I competed in capture the flag at DEFCON in Vegas once several years ago. I remember first discovering how impossible it was for all of us to hack the winner that years server. One person out smarted everyone before it was even popular or against the rules of DEFCON by loading an image of everything and running it from a read only CD. The best hackers in the world learned you can not hack what you can not write to.

    To make it even user simple, just make it a built in option in IE and Outlook, default being read only when you open IE or Outlook, impossible for anything to write to your hard drive, just like running from a Ubuntu Linux CD. Call it the "virus proof" option, make it so people will have to close out of it and reboot into a clearly suggested unsafe option to do anything else other than just viewing web pages or reading emails.

    If that's too much to ask, at least give the few of us in the know an option to utilize Windows in this very way. A read only option of Windows we can boot into for surfing the internet care free. No need for some anti virus app running in the back ground eating up our resources, no need for us to care about anything in the world. We get infected from an email and we don't even need to know it happened, we just reboot and its like it never even happened. The ability to virtually run Windows in read only mode just like we can now do and have been able to do for years with Ubuntu and KNOPPIX Linux.

    I'm saddened to hear One Care is going away, it really was the best anti virus software for Windows with the lightest load on your system resources. It was the first ever Windows based anti virus system where you honestly didn't notice it running in the background, it also doesn't pollute your registry files in disgusting ways like the other popular options are known to do. There too, as you pointed out, common sense plays a major factor. I've been using Windows well since the days of 3.11 and I've never had a virus myself. I liked One Care a lot, just found the $49 price tough to swallow on a yearly basis and got kind of peed when they opted to hide the 800 number for the great support they had. $29 a year, or $49 for a one time would have been easier to swallow for something you really shouldn't need in the first place.
    Monday, May 4, 2009 10:58 AM
  • Just wanted to jump in and note that OneCare subscriptions will be supported through full term or the end of 2010, whichever comes first.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Monday, May 4, 2009 12:36 PM
    Moderator
  • Tony,

    As Steve already mentioned, anyone with a purchased subscription will be supported through its expiration in 2010.  I was only suggesting that you personally might want to wait though most others who need the protection should not, since as you know running without protection on Windows is just asking for it.  Even I have renewed my OneCare subscriptions on all of the family PCs I support and will only switch to the new Morro product after I've fully tested it myself on all of my own various operating systems.

    As for running Linux (or any OS) from a CD, yes that will protect from disk based malware, though it can still infect the current memory image until the next reboot is performed.  It's also not a very effective mode of operation for most users, since in general most will want to write some file attachments to disk or access some they've already saved to send to others.  I understand what you're saying and technically it is correct, it's just not useful for most non-techincal users unless they have some other storage system available like a NAS.  There are Windows OS CD bootable versions such as WinPE, but they are again technically complex to create as are the Linux CDs you've already mentioned.  The only thing that makes them easy for the technical few is that some standard distributions of them have been provided on the net, but how does a non-technical user know they are trustworthy or even that they exist?  In truth, these complex methods don't provide a solution for the larger number of less technical users, so they are ineffective solutions for the mass market.

    Where Microsoft has headed with all of this is to provide increased levels of isolation and security within its newer operating systems and Internet Explorer 7/8 Protected and InPrivate browsing modes.  Though these are clearly not as limited as running from CD they also don't remove the user's ability to access everything else on the PC that they normally require.  There have also been the Restricted or Limited user accounts available on all versions based on Windows 2000, though generally only technical users with administrative backgrounds have taken advantage of them until recent OS versions have made them the default.  Though obviously not bullet-proof, these have provided a much better security profile than previous versions as has been clearly shown in the recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Reports.
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/sir.aspx

    Though again, no one should go without proper protection while waiting for the new free 'Morro' anti-malware to release, the eventual loss of OneCare itself does not concern me.  Since the new product will be based on the same internal engines and detections as the ForeFront (business), Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT), and Windows Defender, as well as OneCare itself, nothing's really going to change.  The only difference is that the new product will be free for consumers worldwide and be even less resource intensive than OneCare, since it won't contain any of the non-malware feature overhead.  This is actually the 'fool-proof' set-it-and-forget-it anti-malware they'd originally intended to create, without all the feature bloat OneCare contained.

    OneCareBear
    Windows OneCare Forum Moderator
    Monday, May 4, 2009 4:23 PM
    Moderator
  • I'd have to strongly disagree that Ubuntu Linux is hard to use by any means. You download a file, you burn it to a CD, you boot your computer to the CD. Most people just use their computer to surf the internet, read email, Ubuntu is insanely easy (unlike the Linux of old) for people to do this with. You don't need to be a geek to use and do it. So what if you get a virus, it doesn't matter, you reboot your computer and the virus is 100% gone, even newly undiscovered viri that even the best anti virus software out there will NOT protect you from.

    I'm not trying to be or sound like an advocate for Ubuntu or Linux, I'm just saying its the only 100% sure thing when it comes to anti virus protection, I wish Microsoft would pick up on that capability and some how enable the same ability. I can still save my files to a flash drive or any other device just fine, and all the same, do a simple reboot and its a 100% fresh install of the entire OS all over again, without having to go through any install process, time, or head aches.

    I'm, as I write, downloading, and will be installing Windows 7 RC right now. Should I install One Care on Windows 7 RC, is that even available or needed?

    Saturday, May 9, 2009 10:26 AM
  • See the announcement at the top of this Forum: Windows 7 - Not Supported by OneCare!
    or this Microsoft KB: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968420


    Regards, Dave
    Saturday, May 9, 2009 4:10 PM