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What should I do?? - OneCare / MSE no-man's land RRS feed

  • Question

  • Dear all,
    I am running OneCare on two machines at home (both XP, and in the UK), and have been impressed with the software - as a result I was hoping to renew my subscription for another year, when it expires in September.  I'm now aware that OneCare is being phased out this summer (booo), but that Microsoft Security Essentials, the supposed replacement, is only in Beta testing (and not in the UK!).

    My question is - What do I do?  Will I be able to renew for another year in September (but then will the anti-virus files be updated regularly?), or will MSE be available by then?  If I can't renew, my only other option will be to go for Norton/McAfee/Kapersky, but I've had these in the past and they slow my system right down.

    I read in another post here that a free OneCare renewal subscrition for a further 6 months 'should' be available, but is any of this confirmed?

    I don't want to have to move away from Microsoft's malware solutions, but I'm not sure if I'll have much choice - this whole situation seems very ill-thought out by the company.  I'm also annoyed that I had to find out about OneCare's death by stumbling upon it on the web, and not having received any e-mails/notifications through the program.

    I'd be grateful for any advice and/or confirmation of the above, and would like to hear others' thoughts on the whole matter.

    Best wishes,

    Tony.
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 10:58 AM

Answers

  • When your current subscription is about to expire, you can uninstall OneCare and then reinstall and subscribe with a new LiveID to get a 12 month subscription. Using a retail key, assuming you can locate a retail copy, will be cheaper.
    If Microsoft Security Essentials is released by the time your subscription expires in September, you can simply switch to MSE. If MSE is not yet released, your current 12 month subscription should be automatically extended for up to 6 months for no charge. Yes, this has been confirmed, though there have been some reports of people not getting the extension and being charged - when that happens, contacting customer service/support will get it straightened out.
    When the MSE beta is opened back up for more users, any English language country is in fact supported, if you wish to try the beta before the product is fully released.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare, Live Mesh, & MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 12:02 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • When your current subscription is about to expire, you can uninstall OneCare and then reinstall and subscribe with a new LiveID to get a 12 month subscription. Using a retail key, assuming you can locate a retail copy, will be cheaper.
    If Microsoft Security Essentials is released by the time your subscription expires in September, you can simply switch to MSE. If MSE is not yet released, your current 12 month subscription should be automatically extended for up to 6 months for no charge. Yes, this has been confirmed, though there have been some reports of people not getting the extension and being charged - when that happens, contacting customer service/support will get it straightened out.
    When the MSE beta is opened back up for more users, any English language country is in fact supported, if you wish to try the beta before the product is fully released.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare, Live Mesh, & MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 12:02 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the information - it is much appreciated. 

    If MSE isn't ready by the time my sub runs out, I will wait and see if I can get the 6-month extension. 

    If not, I'll try for a new retail package...I had considered this option, but was concerned that the virus updates might cease before the end of the new 12-month sub.

    Thanks again,

    Tony.

    Thursday, July 30, 2009 3:33 PM
  • You're welcome. Any OneCare subscriptions activated before they turn off that ability later this year (after MSE is released) will be fully supported by updates through their end of term - the full 12 months. All OneCare support will be ended by the end of 2010.
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare, Live Mesh, & MS Security Essentials Forums Moderator
    Thursday, July 30, 2009 3:56 PM
    Moderator
  • < SNIP > 

    If not, I'll try for a new retail package...I had considered this option, but was concerned that the virus updates might cease before the end of the new 12-month sub.

    Thanks again,

    Tony.

    To alay your fears that the "virus updates might cease" even further, it's best to understand that the actual antivirus and antispyware detections provided for OneCare and the new Microsoft Security Essentials are actually identical, as are the antimalware engines that use them.

    Only the visual (GUI) portions of the two programs and the 'extra features' in OneCare like Backup and the firewall are really different.  So the only thing really changing for you will be the loss of these extra features, which may not matter if you never used them anyway.

    If you think about it, since Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) isn't released yet and undoubtedly Microsoft plans to continue to provide the free six-month extensions to paid subscribers of OneCare at least until the release date of MSE, there's no good reason to start telling everyone with OneCare about it yet.  Those who watch for such things have found places like these forums and until it nears time that they'll need to take some form of action, and what the action should be is clearly understood, it's better for most if they don't know.  Otherwise they simply become confused as you did initially.

    Everything you've heard from both Steve or I is based to some extent on official information, but some things are still not fully known, so coming out with statements before all the answers are in place is far more reckless than waiting until things are 'ready'.  Personally, I suspect that the six-month extensions will continue for at least a few weeks after MSE is released or at the very least, OneCare will continue to work, though again this is just speculation on my part.  There's no advantage for Microsoft to 'pull the plug' immediately on the day MSE is released, since obviously this would cause issues for many, though I do expect them to aggressively push people to MSE once it is available.

    Rob
    Friday, July 31, 2009 1:01 AM
    Moderator
  • Dear Rob & Steve,

    Just a quick update, firstly to say thanks to you both for your quick and informative replies.

    Secondly, a couple of days ago, I received an e-mail from Microsoft/OneCare to say that my subscription will automatically be renewed for six months, with no charge, due to the phasing out of the program - that's timing for you!

    According to the email the new six month subscription is automatic, so I don't have to do anything.

    Thanks again for your help & advice,

    Tony
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 1:58 PM
  • Rob, Steve-

        My subscription just renewed itself another 6 months... but it said it had my "Billing Information on file".  Was I billed?  I never got an email like Tony (above) that said it was complimentary...
    Friday, September 18, 2009 2:21 AM
  • I suspect the message is simply the original 'canned' automated one, so it indicates the current situation even though it provided the free 6-month extension.

    You can try logging into your Windows Live account at billing.microsoft.com to see what it indicates relative to your OneCare subscription there.

    The other option is to simply wait for your next statement for your credit card or better yet log into online banking if it's provided and see if you received a charge from Microsoft when OneCare was renewed.  You can contact OneCare billing support after the fact to have the charges reversed if any did occur, but I'd bet they didn't and you simply didn't receive the notification message.

    Is it possible that your email address has changed or is it still the one used when you set up the Windows Live account for OneCare originally?  I suspect that many don't receive these messages simply because their email has changed, often due to changing the ISP used for Internet access.

    Rob
    Friday, September 18, 2009 3:55 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the suggestions - I appreciate the timely response!

    I'll check both sources.

    Saturday, September 19, 2009 5:33 PM