On November 14, Microsoft released the 2.0 release of its Windows Live OneCare PC security/health service, as well as the 2008 version of its Office Accounting suite for small businesses.
The final version of Windows Live OneCare 2.0, a beta build of which Microsoft released to testers in July, doesn't look a whole lot different in its final form from the test versions. The focus in the new OneCare release is on improving multiple PC coverage for users with broadband and/or wireless networking at home, said Lead Product Manager Larry Brennan.
The 2.0 build provides a single management view of covered OneCare PCs, which will allow users to monitor the safety status of all PCs in a "OneCare Circle" and to resolve problems on any of them with one click. Other features Microsoft has added since the 1.5 release include support for printer sharing; Proactive Fixes and Recommendations (which handle problems like jobs stuck in print queues); and a system Start Time Optimizer that lets users know about infrequently used software they can opt to eliminate from their startup menus.
The price for Windows Live OneCare 2.0 stays at $49.95 (for up to three PCs) for a year. The product is available for download via the Web, as well as from online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Existing OneCare customers automatically will be upgraded for free to the 2.0 release, Microsoft said.
Office Accounting 2008 is an enhanced version of Office Accounting 2007. The 2008 edition adds a bilingual Spanish-English version for the U.S.-based Hispanic market and a customized version for the U.K. New features include simplified company set-up; bugeting functionality; universal transaction import; additional bulk e-mail invoicing; and easier conversion from sales orders to purchase orders.
Microsoft's new small-business accounting product continues to come in two flavors: Profesional ($199.95 U.S.); and Express (free), aimed at startups and home-based businesses. Both editions may be downloaded from the Microsoft Ideawins site.