REDMOND, Wash. — May 30, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced U.S. availability of Windows Live™ OneCare™, the company’s all-in-one, automatic and self-updating PC care service designed to help consumers more easily protect and maintain their PCs. It is available at Best Buy™ and more than a dozen other major retail chains nationwide, as well as via direct download from http://onecare.live.com. Windows Live OneCare is available for an annual subscription rate of $49.95 MSRP* for up to three personal computers, and many of the retailers plan to offer rebates and other types of in-store promotions for Windows Live OneCare in the coming weeks and months.
“Windows Live OneCare delivers what millions of consumers have been asking for: one source for top-to-bottom maintenance, support and performance optimization tools plus increased protection that takes the worry out of PC care,” said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft. “This ‘just take care of it’ experience enables customers to focus on what they really care about, which is to be able to sit down at their PCs and enjoy their digital lifestyles.”
To help celebrate the launch of Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft retail partner Best Buy will display the OneCare product logo prominently on the Best Buy-sponsored No. 66 stock car that Jeff Green will drive in the Neighborhood Excellence 400 event this Sunday, June 4, at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. In addition, Microsoft and Best Buy representatives will be on site at the race track celebrating the launch of Windows Live OneCare and the retail alliance.
“My pit crew helps keep me safe and my No. 66 car performing at its best, so I can focus on racing to the checkered flag. Windows Live OneCare offers that same value — it’s like a pit crew for your PC,” said Green, driver for the Best Buy-sponsored Haas CNC Racing team. “I’m looking forward to racing the OneCare-branded car this weekend and helping Microsoft launch this great service.”
To celebrate the launch of Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft is teaming up with Best Buy to sponsor the No. 66 Best Buy car that will race next weekend during the Neighborhood Excellence 400 in Dover, Del.
Windows Live OneCare is designed to alleviate the confusion and frustration that many consumers experience when trying to protect their computers from viruses, spyware and other threats. It also goes beyond security to simplify other essential PC care practices, such as backing up important data and regularly running performance maintenance tasks.
“Best Buy and Microsoft are both strongly dedicated to helping customers get the best possible performance from their PCs,” said Sean Skelley, senior vice president of services at Best Buy. “We’re pleased to add Windows Live OneCare to our offerings in-store and to help spread the word about this exceptional all-in-one PC care service. As an added convenience for our customers, Geek Squad® Agents are available 24×7 to install OneCare in-home or at precincts in our stores.”
Since the initial Windows Live OneCare beta was released in November 2005, Microsoft has continually added new features in response to consumers’ feedback. OneCare now provides the following features:
Protection Plus includes anti-virus and firewall protection features and automatic updates, as well as anti-spyware functionality to help protect the PC and the customer.
Performance Plus delivers regular PC tuneups to help maintain computer performance and reliability.
Backup and Restore delivers easy-to-use backup and restore functionality for the customer’s important photos, music files and more.
Help and Support provides effective help when needed through a variety of modes — e-mail, phone and chat — with all service support coming from PC care experts at Microsoft for no additional charge.
In addition to expanding Windows Live OneCare capabilities over time, Microsoft plans to begin rolling out the service in international markets within the next 12 months. More information about Windows Live OneCare can be found at http://onecare.live.com.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN® attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
* Actual retail prices may vary.
Microsoft, Windows Live, OneCare and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Note to radio producers: Sound bites about Windows Live OneCare from Ryan Hamlin, general manager of the Technology Care and Safety Group at Microsoft, are available upon request.
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