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Windows Live OneCare Gripes
OneCare is a software suite including anti-virus
June 30, 2006. The big gripe about Windows Live OneCare that you (and Microsoft) can never get away from is:
Create the problem, then charge people money to solve it.
Ouch. Even if the all the included software was great, you've got to consider the big picture. The term "sucker" comes to mind.
McAfee, Symantec and Microsoft (with Windows Live OneCare) all set your credit card up for automatic renewals when you purchase their security software on-line. For some people this is the right choice, but the gripe is that you can't opt out of this during the purchase. OneCare is the most difficult of the three to opt out of. In fact, you can't. Instead you must must cancel your subscription altogether by calling 866-663-2273. From: Gotcha: Automatic Security-Software Renewals Robert McMillan in PC World magazine. December 21, 2006. Be aware of auto-renewal agreements before you sign up. This is a follow-up to: Antivirus Vendors Shift to Automatic Fees by Robert McMillan, in PC World magazine. November 22, 2006.
OneCare Firewall: a light-weight approach to a heavy-duty problem by Agnitum.com. No date. Most likely June 2006.
June 30, 2006. The suite includes anti-virus software, a first for Microsoft. It also includes anti-Spyware software, but this is the same anti-Spyware program Microsoft has been testing (it's still in beta) for well over a year. Yes, you pay for beta software that Microsoft gives away free. If you want to protect a computer, the last thing you should do is install beta software. Although now called Windows Defender, it was originally named Microsoft Anti-Spyware (I think).
The Microsoft backup program included in Windows 95 stunk. So too the one in Windows 98, ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP (I teach a class on backing up your computer). It is miserably designed, the worst backup programs I've run across. Would you buy a backup program from these guys? I wouldn't.
One down side of the Microsoft backup programs to date is that they store data in a proprietary format. You purchase OneCare for a year at a time. If you don't re-up, can you still restore files? I don't know.
OneCare is targeted at non-technical users, yet it includes a two-way firewall, the downside of which is a plethora of techie questions about granting Internet access to programs on your computer. Questions that a non-technical user is likely not to understand or appreciate.
It only works with Windows XP Service Pack 2. Is this Microsoft's way of
telling people running Windows 98, Me and 2000 to upgrade to XP?
From A Microsoft Safety Package. Grit Your Teeth by David Pogue in the New York Times June 29, 2006.
Regarding the Nutshell gripe above, he refers to Microsoft "...as the company whose inattention to security made antivirus software a necessity in the first place. What's next — Häagen-Dazs diet pills?" Mr. Pogue also says:
Why should Microsoft profit from the plague of viruses and Spyware? Shouldn't it have designed Windows better to begin with? And if it has indeed found a way to protect Windows, isn't it a tad exploitative to charge for it? Microsoft has no convincing answer for these questions . . .
The backup program can not write to thumb drives, internal hard disks, network drives or external FireWire-connected hard disks.
Pogue: The scheduled, automated tune-up only runs at 1:00 AM and then, only
if your computer is left on.
Me: You should not leave a computer on all night, for many reasons.
Quoting Pogue: "Installing OneCare can be exhausting". You have to un-install all other security software.
Me: The Borg come to mind. Your security will be assimilated.
Writing in Network World magazine, James E. Gaskin worries about this because no single anti-Spyware program catches everything. He suggests, as do many others, to run at least two anti-Spyware programs, one in live-protection mode (my term) and one in scan-on-demand mode (my term again). See System security updates August 10, 2006.
Pogue: It requires Microsoft Passport, which in turn, requires that you sign
up for either Hotmail or MSN.
Me. The Borg do cross-selling.
No spam filtering. Microsoft says PC users didn't ask for it.
No parental controls.
January 9, 2006. I don't know the person with the following gripes (which I have edited for brevity).
This is Josh from Louisville Kentucky. I am a blind user of Windows XP Home Edition, and Freedom Scientific JAWS 7.10. I have several major gripes about Windows Live OneCare.
I purchased Windows Live OneCare in August of 2006. The guy who sold me the computer told me that OneCare was much better than Norton. Well, he was, wrong! It is by far worse, much worse! I strongly recommend that anyone who is thinking about purchasing this software think again. There are many anti-virus programs that are much less system intensive, less intrusive, and more accessible for blind and visually impaired users.
Gripe 1: Windows Live OneCare makes it impossible, I repeat, impossible, to use Microsoft Word on most computers that OneCare is installed on.
For the first couple of months, I could use Word along with OneCare with no problems. However, in about October, when I tried to save an important document in Word, I received an error message that said that Word couldn't complete the save due to a file permission error. When I clicked the "retry the save" button in the dialog box, I still got the same error message. However, this time, my file had been renamed to something like, "~WRL0004.tmp." Even this renamed file couldn't be saved.
When I tried to save it, I kept getting a cornucopia of error messages. I tried looking in Windows Help, and on the Microsoft website for solutions to the problem, to no avail. Then, I called Microsoft technical support to see if they could help me solve the problem. After making the foreigner on the technical support line repeat himself several times so I could understand him, I was finally told that Windows Live OneCare was the source of this problem. I was even told that OneCare was the program that renamed my document. I tried disabling Windows Live OneCare using Msconfig.exe, still to no avail. I was then told by tech support to uninstall Windows Live OneCare. After doing so, Word saved my documents with no problems.
I tried reinstalling OneCare, and repairing the installations of Microsoft Office and OneCare, to no avail. As of now, in order to have a secure computer, without annoying OneCare and Windows Security alert balloons popping up, I am forced to not use Word at all. Since I am an aspiring science fiction author, this is bad.
I am currently shopping around for a good anti-virus program that will work with JAWS. When I tried to delete the .tmp file, I got an "access is denied" error message. I was also told by Microsoft that OneCare had set the permissions on the .tmp file so that it couldn't be deleted.
If anyone out there knows of any other solutions to any of these problems, please e-mail me. My e-mail address is email@example.com.
Gripe 2: As far as I know, Windows Live OneCare does not provide the option to prevent duplicate security alerts from windows after turning off the firewall, or anti-virus monitoring. Norton does provide for this. However, Norton has many accessibility problems with JAWS. If anyone has any other solutions besides turning off security center, please e-mail me.
Gripe 3: Windows Live OneCare is set up to check the Windows Update site for any missing security updates during a tune-up. If any missing updates are found, the OneCare status is fair and "action to take" balloons pop up. As far as I know, there is no way to keep OneCare from phoning home, except for disabling your internet connection just before, and during a tune-up.
The big problem is that some "updates" can mess with accessibility features and settings. There are some updates that even upgrade to a new version of a program, which is not supported by JAWS. Therefore, I don't always want these updates. Please, if anyone out there has an answer to this problem, e-mail me.
Gripe 4: Windows Live OneCare significantly slows down my computer's performance when it is connected to the internet and I have one gigabyte of ram.If I disable the internet connection, or disable anti-virus monitoring, the computer works fine. This problem is particularly noticed shortly after I start my computer.
The web site for Windows Live One Care is www.windowsonecare.com
The Windows Live Safety Center
is a free service from Microsoft that scans for and removes viruses. They also
claim it will "Improve your PC's performance" and "Get rid of junk on your hard disk".
Needless to say it only works with Internet Explorer (as it's built with
|Page created: June 30, 2006||Page last updated: January 9, 2007|
|Prior Updates: January 6, 2007 | August 11,2006|