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Microsoft Announces OneCare Pricing

Okay, as predicted, here are the details on OneCare’s public release:

  • Windows OneCare Live will arrive in June in stores or as a download, costing $49.95 for up to three computer.
  • Those who signed up for the beta (which closes on April 31), will be able to subscribe for the first year for $19.95 between April 1 and April 31.
  • OneCare will include Windows Defender for spyware protection, as well as the already included antivirus, firewall, tuneup and backup features
  • OneCare will also include tech support, available via e-mail, phone and web chat, at no additional charge

The last one is huge. We’re talking about Microsoft offering PC technical support at a decent price. By itself, that is worth more than the cost of a OneCare subscription, based on what MS normally charges. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from a 20 dollar first year of OneCare. Sign up, peoples!

February 7th, 2006 Posted by | AntiSpyware, Defender, General, OneCare, Security | no comments

IE7 Search Provider Guide Updated

Microsoft has updated their webpage listing search engines you can add to IE7′s search box. Besides the four that were already there (AOL, Ask Jeeves, MSN and Yahoo!), you can now add (click on the link to do it from this page):

However, the page also says that you can now add A9 OpenSearch engines, by using the following link syntax:


URL should be replaced by the URL of the OpenSearch description document. For example, these should work:

These were not chosen because I like these sites (although I am pleased that two great people I met at Search Champs were available, and, of course, Findory). Rather, these were the best OpenSearch description URLs I could find. Most of these are hidden, although I hope other people will find other URLs and submit them here.

Now, since the links, while being, as far as I can tell, well-formed, still do not work, if anyone wants to peer in the source code and see what’s going on, please do and let me know what to change.

February 7th, 2006 Posted by | Applications, General, Internet Explorer | 7 comments

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Former Microsofties Create Flickr Competitor

Thomas Hawk reports that some former Microsoft execs have started a photo sharing site called Vizrea, and they are getting some great press. Walt Mossberg is using the service, the Seattle Times wrote about them today and their Venture blog called Vizrea in October their “stealth startup of the week“.

Who’s running Vizrea?

Mike Toutonghi, Vizrea’s CEO and founder, is a former co-founder, General Manager, and Distinguished Engineer on Microsoft’s .NET platform, as well as the former founder and Corporate Vice President in charge of the Microsoft Windows e-Home Division that developed Windows XP Media Center Edition. The Vizrea teamis composed ofindustry veterans with key members in the US and Europe.

So, what’s different about Vizrea? According to Michael Gartenberg, this is all about enabling “contextual flow applications”, and the members of the team with Media Center pedigrees should give you some sort of clue.

Contextual flow is marked by the seamless transition from one digital context to another, regardless of location or type of device used or the nature of the content or information being accessed.

Michael says that while photos are a good place to start, this type of platform can handle other types of data. If they are planning on having the one-stop shop for all your media sharing, a site that handles photos, podcasts/audio, video and other things, they could be taking on several Web 2.0 companies (Flickr/Odeo/YouTube) at once.

February 7th, 2006 Posted by | General | no comments

MSN To Relaunch As MSN Media Network?

LiveSide says they have word MSN is going to relaunch and rebrand as the MSN Media Network. MSN MN, or MMN, or MSNMN, or whatever acronym they settle on, will feature an expanded MSN Video with movies and TV, as well as a podcasting service with MSN produced podcasts with celebrity interviews.

Several sources have indicated to us that MSN plans to relaunch itself as the MSN Media Network, whilst at the same time expanding its range of interactive and content rich services. As well as continuing to deliver content through and MSN Music, the MSN Video team is evolving to include Movies and TV. Both these sites have already been revamped at the end of last year and feature show times and reviews as well as the latest entertainment news.

We have also learnt there are plans to launch a new podcasting service later this year, featuring MSN produced content such as celebrity interviews. However it remains unclear at this time whether all podcasters will be free to list on the new site, or whether it will only feature MSN approved content.

This is all kind of necessary to keep MSN a viable brand, since all the popular services are moving over to Windows Live. Microsoft spent 11 years making MSN very well known, and one of the most trafficked sites in the world, and they won’t let that just wilt away.
(via Microsoft Watch)

February 7th, 2006 Posted by | General, MSN | one comment

Which Virtual Machine

I’m not a big fan of Java, I don’t like having it installed on my system, so when I reformatted, I tried avoiding it. Managed for almost a month, amazingly. Well, now I need Java Virtual Machine. How many are out there? Is there a better one than Sun’s? Doesn’t Sun’s install annoying startup programs? These are things I’d like to know before I install one.

Why am I installing? So I can run the “NSA Global Threat Display” as my wallpaper, of course!

February 7th, 2006 Posted by | General | 4 comments

Finally, Info On OneCare Pricing

CNET has an anonymous source telling them that Microsoft will announce this week that it plans to ship the release version of Windows OneCare Live before the summer. OneCare will be a subscription service and cost $50 a year for antivirus, firewall and tune-up/backup tools.

While Microsoft’s product is not as feature complete as competing products from Norton and McAfee, it also doesn’t bloat and slow down systems, and costs a lot less for the whole package. For an obvious reason, Microsoft is the only company that considers it paramount that its products do not unnecessarily ruin Windows performance, something Norton should try.

Maybe OneCare will never win on features, but as long as it protects users from malicious software and people, and keeps PCs running faster than they would under others, it will very quickly capture the home security market away from the longtime leaders. They didn’t make it a priority to protect home computers, they made it a priority to sell software and target businesses, and now Microsoft is going to school them on how being responsible can be very profitable.
(via Todd Bishop)

February 7th, 2006 Posted by | General, OneCare, Security | no comments