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Windows Live OneCare 2.0 available for download today

Microsoft has made the second generation of its desktop anti-virus suite available for download today; CD-issued copies of the program will be available next week. 

Windows Live OneCare
2.0 will feature improved anti-virus, backup and management capabilities, Larry Brennan, lead product manager for Windows Live OneCare, told on Wednesday.

Amidst internet speculation as to the official release date, web retailer set the product's release date for Nov. 15.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant released a beta version in July, which included enhancements,  such as support for multiple PCs on local area networks and home network management.

Microsoft offers the program, which covers up to three PCs, for a yearly fee of $49.95. Current subscribers will be notified that Live OneCare is available for download at no additional cost.  

Brennan told today that the solution will add an option that allows multiple PCs to backup data on one device.

“One thing we're seeing is that an increasing number of homes have multiple PCs and those tend to be constantly on and constantly connected to the internet,” he said. “It's something that has a lot of value for small businesses, and of particular interest to them is the multi-computer backup.”

OneCare Live has faced mixed reviews since its May 2006 release. Researchers at AV-Comparatives, an Austria-based organization managed by security expert Andreas Clementi, rated the program last in a comparative test with similar products from more than a dozen anti-virus developers.

“Windows Live OneCare is supported by our Malware Protection Center, and one focus there is making sure that we address the most current threats first,” he said. “[Anti-virus product comparisons] that test the real world threats are places where we've performed very strongly, and we've also seen an increase in our scores in recent months.”

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