IE7, Windows Live OneCare and Defender
Published on April 27, 2006 By Larry Kuperman In Personal Computing
In 2002, Bill Gates set security as Microsoft's top priority. With the introduction of IE7 (currently in Beta 2) and Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft has come a long way toward fulfilling that promise.

Why is it important that Microsoft has taken these steps? I have an anti-virus program that regularly updates itself, programs to protect me from adware and malware, a software firewall and a (relatively) secure browser for some time. Most power-users have these protections. But guess what? MOST PEOPLE DON'T. Most people are content with whatever software their PC comes with and don't understand the need to protect themselves. Hopefully, this will increase the overall level of security on the Internet.

Both products are still in Beta and won't be fully flushed out until the release of Windows Vista later this year, but they both offer significant security features that will reduce risk. IE7 has greatly improved security designed to protect users against malicious software and offer protection from fraudulent websites and online phishing scams. ActiveX Opt-In disables nearly all pre-installed ActiveX controls by default to prevent potentially vulnerable controls from being exposed to attack. Security badges and color coding notifications next to the address bar make it easier for users to know if a site is suspicious or safe. There is a built-in Phishing filter. When Vista is released, IE7 will offer a protected mode and parental controls. For a full list of security features visit Link

Windows OneCare is a suite of utilities including anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall. OneCare Backup lets you to copy your important files and settings to CDs, DVDs, or to an external hard disk. Tune-up offers defragmentation, automatic virus scan and clean-up. OneCare automatically updates your anti-virus and firewall definitions to keep you up to date and works with Windows update to provide a more secure experience. You can also check for updates manually with one click.

Windows Defender is the security portion of the OneCare suite and provides anti-virus, anti-spyware and protection against pop-ups. You can also use it stand-alone.
I have been using OneCare for a few days now and found it not to be resource intensive.

Right now you can try the OneCare Beta for free and if you elect to subscribe cover three PCs for a one year subscription for only $19.95. The offer expires April 30th so time is of the essence. (Open to US Residents only.) There is no charge for IE7.

The products are good and likely to get better.

IE7 can be found at Link

Windows Live OneCare is at Link

Windows Defender is available from Link

on Apr 27, 2006
Been using all three for a while now, everything works just fine! Don't like the idea of having to pay the $19.95 for three machines, how about $9.95 for just one, or better yet, free?
on Apr 27, 2006
Glad everything is going so well for you. As to the pricing, Norton Anti-virus 2006 is $39.99, McAfee Internet Security is $49.99 for a one-year subscription.....each of those is for one PC.

Microsoft's Introductory pricing seems more than fair.
on Apr 27, 2006

I use IE7, and really like the features. From the current version, I would say that the official release with Vista will be a vast improvement over IE6.

OneCare looks to be a good deal, especially if the resource use is brought down to a minimum. I currently use Norton IS 2006, and have a subscription for another 320 days or so. I do intend to look into OneCare after that (should have Vista by then).

Thanks for the post.

on Apr 27, 2006
I have Defender, which works fine after the most recent update. Ditto with IE7. I beta'ed One Care and finally just gave up trying to make it work on my machine. It simply would not update no matter what I did and the backup program created a HUGE file on my backup HD that I could not delete without reformatting the whole disk. Normally -- in spite of all the whining -- MS makes pretty good stuff but One Care was a major disappointment for me so I'm sticking with McAfee.
on Apr 28, 2006
I was fairly impressed with the IE7 beta. I've been using various Mozilla products (first the suite, then all of the name changes leading to "Firefox") for a few years thanks to IE's complete lack of progress and was surprised just to see that Microsoft finally added in full PNG support into the browser, not to mention all of the CSS fixes that were thrown in for beta 2. I'm also glad that they finally added tabs.

It probably won't be enough to pull me away from Firefox, but at least when I'm forced to use IE for various things (my online classes only work with IE, for instance) I'm not going to be stuck with an archaic user interface.
on Apr 28, 2006
So Larry...Am I getting this right. With the "Windows Live OneCare" there is AntiVirus/Firewall/AntiSpyware protection built into this? Meaning I can get rid the the AntiVirus/Firewall/AntiSpyware I presently have installed on my machine?
on Apr 28, 2006

In 2002, Bill Gates set security as Microsoft's top priority.

i'd be much more easily persuaded he meant it if every version of windows released so far was did not default to 'hide file extensions of known file types'.

just one example of why i'm convinced gates & ms believe the term refers to 'that which prevents unauthorized use of their product' rather than 'that which protects authorized users of their product'.

on Apr 28, 2006
WebGizmos, yes, I am quite pleased with how it works so far for security.

kingbee, would I be correct in stating that you rendered that opinion without trying the software or looking at the links? Microsoft is offering anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, backup and more.
on Apr 28, 2006

kingbee, would I be correct in stating that you rendered that opinion without trying the software or looking at the links?

Quite probably....

Often companies, etc are condemned for past 'issues' while people remain oblivious to the real strides that may have been made with 'making things right'...

on Apr 28, 2006
yes, I am quite pleased with how it works so far for security.

Wow...That would be awesome. Now I'm just wondering how good it is...
on Apr 28, 2006
I agree with Jafo, I fully belive microsoft is doing its best to tighten up security, I also think no other company is going to have the advantage over MS in security because only MS has absolute source code acces...I know they offer source code viewing to certain partners, but Im sure it is not the same as there programers acces...And after all it is not Bill doing the codeing, it is people from all over that work for Bill...I use several of the Microsft Security stuff and have had no problems whatsoever...I used Norton and Macafee and have had catastrophic virus and spyware problems.....No OS is safe not even the Browsers...Mozilla has just as many flaws as IE and so do all the other OS by Linux....So it all boils down to what you are comfortable with and can actually use to the PC's best advantage for your protection.
on Apr 28, 2006
I tend to agree with Kingbee. I deal with the most completely non-tech savvy people you can imagine, and I have found that there is simply no replacement for educating people. I agree with Larry that many people don't have the tools to protect themselves, but the "let us worry about that" policy that MS projects actually makes the situation worse.

A small example. I am working on a guy's machine that has become slow and often unresponsive. I find that most of the security settings have been turned off, and he's working with somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 different spyware programs running.

When I ask him about it I get the standard "Ain't that terrible that people do that" look, and he gives me the same excuse I hear over and over. He turns off the security items when he finds that they prevent him from clicking x, opening y, or doing z. I mention the Symantec antivirus product he has and he says "Yeah, that thing keeps popping up all the time, is there any way you can get rid of that too?

I'm not kidding, he said that. I realized then that to him, the security popups, the malware popups, etc., were all the same thing. Annoyances. When he bumped into a malware annoyance, he tried to get rid of it, and when he found that his security was getting in the way, he tried to get rid of it. MS and other folks who make security products tend to build walls around ignorant users, and ignorant users hate nothing if they don't hate a wall.

I can run around a year without any virus checker on my PC before I finally get nailed. With his machine burdened with numerous security programs, I am back at that guy's house once ever 2 or 3 months like clockwork. He's the perfect everyman example of people running compromised PCs. Kingbee's example is very apt, he doesn't know what the extension of the file he's clicking is, because unless I set it to show, he never sees the extension.

I am happy that MS is fixing a lot of their old flaws, and making serious headway into securing their OS. I feel that much of it, though, isn't what it appears to be. As long as they work well, and don't build walls between the user and what they want to do, they'll be fine. WHen they are used to oversee 'ignorant' users without making them understand what is going on, they'll just be considered built-in annoyances.
on Apr 28, 2006
LMAO - In the last two months defender will no longer update itself even if i go to the update site and do it manually, it says such n such update installed then going back even after a restart the update is still has something to do with a patch that was downloaded earlier as one of the cnet editors mentioned the same prob with his comp , at least one can rely on ol' trusty ad-aware