Microsoft betas OneCare for free

Who says Microsoft don't give anything away? The software giant we all love (ahem! - Ed) has announced it is offering free beta testing of its OneCare live security service to anyone with a US English version of Windows XP plus Service Pack 2.

OneCare is the end result of Microsoft's acquisition of GeCad Software, the Romanian antivirus specialist.

Microsoft says it unveiled its plans for OneCare back in May, since when selected testers have been trying the service.

Plans call for the final release of the software/service some time next year, but, in the meantime, PC users can try the service for free.

The service combines anti-spyware with anti-virus software, along with firewall and tune-up functions. Sounds familiar? It should, as several IT security vendors, notably Zone Labs, already have offerings in this area.

Normally I don't recommend beta testing Microsoft's applications, but since the software giant says it will be offering preferential terms to beta testers when it launches the service next year, it might be worth a trot...