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If you have used Windows you know that after a year of use, the registry gets clogged, the PC starts slowing down, and the machine no longer runs like it just came out of the box. Now there is something you can try to fix that. Microsoft has come out with the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner. You can find the application at this site on the net.

If you are running illegal copies of MS Windows or MS office then this will probably help Microsoft police their licensing a bit better. But for the vast majority of the rest of us legal users you may find this service useful. Microsoft says the following about their service.

Get a free PC safety scan

Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is a free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC.

* Check for and remove viruses
* Get rid of junk on your hard disk
* Improve your PC’s performance

New: Windows Vista users, try the beta edition of the scanner, just for Windows Vista.

If you are a Mac OSX user you don’t have to worry about this type of maintenance because OSX does not seem to slow down. Of the six machines at AINEO, we have never had to rebuild these machines as we have never noticed a performance.


Above is an image type of the paid service that is evidently being offered in Australia and abroad.

Once you have scanned your PC you will get the following message.


All in all, Microsoft is trying to sell us subscription based services. Their site says

“Get always-on protection and maintenance for up to 3 PCs for just $49.95 (USD) * a year. ”

For the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in a firm, they will not be excited about another subscription service. Of course, if you are using this service you will no longer need Symantec’s antivirus products. They work out to 5,300 yen per PC/year. I suppose it comes down to a choice for who you would rather pay, Symantec (Trend Micro, etc) or Microsoft.

If you are a home user, we highly recommend using a Mac. They are the most stable consumer grade PC you can buy at this time.