Microsoft Corp. plans to roll out a minor refresh of its Windows OneCare PC security bundle to add new features for file scanning and data backup.
In a note to beta testers, Microsoft said the refresh will be shipped automatically Tuesday as part of a plan to push out continuous feature updates to keep PCs secure from emerging threats.
In the newest version, Windows OneCare will now run automatic scans of files received from the MSN Messenger IM client, a significant new feature designed to thwart the growing threat from instant message-borne malware.
Other new features include the ability to back up computer data to external hard drives; the ability to right-click a file or folder to perform an on-demand virus scan; and unspecified improvements to the Windows OneCare Help Center.
Microsoft has also added automated assistance for uninstalling products that conflict with Windows OneCare and integration with Microsoft Update.
The company will not push down any anti-virus signature file updates during the automatic refresh, but beta testers were warned that Firewall Policies and Anti-virus Exclusions will not be carried to the new version.
“The new version of Windows OneCare has significant improvements and changes. As a result of these changes, existing firewall policies and anti-virus exclusions on your system will not survive the transition to the new version of Windows OneCare. Once the new version is released, you will be required to again make your Allow/Block choices and any anti-virus exclusion selections,” according to the note.
Windows OneCare, formerly code-named A1, is a bundled service for virus scanning, firewall protection, data backup and PC cleanup tools.
The plan is to add anti-spyware protection in future updates.
It will be shipped as a fee-based, subscription service.