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Mailbag: OneCare Good, IE 8 Bad

Even though Microsoft is planning to kill off OneCare next year, it's still touting the product as a success. A couple of you happen to agree:

I've been very happy with OneCare, mainly for two reasons relating to my 84-year-old dad's PC. First of all, OneCare wakes the PC in the middle of the night to do an automated backup to an external hard drive. Dad isn't aware of this and can't accidentally disable it, so it provides some protection against his other often careless actions.

And, as part of my OneCare "circle," his system status gets reported in the OneCare console on my home PC, alerting me to potential issues as they occur. I haven't had much in the way of problems with OneCare, but I'd speculate that the cost of providing free support was a big factor in Microsoft's decision to stop offering it.

I do not know why Microsoft would want to eliminate a necessary product, especially since it was one of the cheapest packages around. Honestly, in my opinion, I believe that anti-virus software should be FREE. Protecting computers from malware and viruses is a necessity and should be provided with the OS, instead of from the greedy, pay-or-else companies like Symantec. This is the very reason I use Grisoft AVG.

If companies want to charge for their firewall or parental control products, fine, but basic protection from hackers should be at the forethought of everyone. How can you prevent viruses and zombies if we cannot afford the product? Symantec, McAfee and others are no better than the pirates in Somalia.

Earlier this week, one reader wrote that the latest IE 8 beta has been a welcome change to IE 7. But Rick begs to differ:

You have had one good comment for IE 8. Here's one not-so-good comment: It stinks, especially on a corporate (government) LAN. Of course, that could be because the government hasn't caught up with anything in years except Al Capone.

Anyway, I tried it at home on a Vista upgrade machine and it crashed too many times. I will have to wait for the RTM version. Although it could just be that once again, there are way too many features for the average Web surfer and MS has dumbed it down to where the geek (like me) tries to "fix it." C'est la vie.

Opinions? Criticisms? Let us have 'em! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on December 03, 2008