Microsoft plans to start selling the Windows OneCare Live PC security bundle for $49.95 a year for up to three personal computers.
The service, which has gone through several beta revisions, will hit the market in June this year as a self-updating utility featuring virus scanning, firewall protection, data backup and PC cleanup tools.
The company plans to add anti-spyware protection from its Windows Defender product when the final version is released.
The $49.95 per household price tag is about $20 cheaper than competing products from Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro. The service will available from retailers and via the Web.
To lure new users into testing the service, Microsoft announced a promotional deal offering the first year of OneCare for $19.95 to beta customers who become subscribers between April 1 and April 30, 2006.
The free beta is available until April 30 and can be downloaded from the Live.com portal.
Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Technology Care and Safety Group at Microsoft, said hundreds of thousands of PC users have tested Windows OneCare Live since the beta was launched in November 2005.
When it finally hits the market in June, Windows OneCare will feature:
- Anti-virus and firewall protection and automatic updates, as well as anti-spyware functionality powered by Windows Defender.
- Regular PC tune-ups to help maintain computer performance and reliability.
- Backup and Restore functionality for the full PC.
- Help and support via e-mail, phone and chat at no additional charge.