Windows OneCare Beta Program Starts

Microsoft has sent notices to testers announcing that the first beta release of Windows OneCare is now available to download. Windows OneCare builds on Microsoft's security acquisitions to offer customers a PC protection and maintenance package.

Initially OneCare will include antivirus and firewall protection, an automated PC tune-up, and backup and restore functionality. Anti-spyware protection is not included in the initial beta, but will be added at a later date, Microsoft says.

The company also expects to build in additional functionality throughout the OneCare testing period.

"Windows OneCare is built on the goal that protecting your PC should be easy and intuitive. The interface and workflow have been designed around one simple concept: get green and stay green. Your Windows OneCare status can be green, yellow, or red," Microsoft beta coordinators explained to testers.

"Green means your status is good and Windows OneCare has not detected anything you should do to improve the overall health of your computer. Yellow means that there is an action you should take to better protect or maintain your PC's health. Red means that your computer or its contents are at risk."

Users can determine the status of their computer through the Windows OneCare icon in the system tray, or by launching the application directly.

The Windows OneCare beta program will run during the summer and will be followed by a wider public beta test later in the year.

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