Microsoft One Care Live Beta and Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2- 2 products I WON’T be using

I have been hearing a lot in Microsoft newsletters about Windows OneCare Live beta. I decided to break down and install it. The 90 day trial of Norton Internet security that shipped with my laptop is running out and feels the need to remind me every singe day of the impending expiration of my trial "subscription". I don’t intend to renew it. I will probably run the WinXp firewall and a freeware antivirus such as Avast Home Edition.

I decided, however, to give Windows OneCare a try to be fair. It’s free, so why not? I went through the installation, which was easy enough. As soon as got around to rebooting my system, I realized that I would not be using Windows OneCare in it’s current state. I wish I could report that I tried out the maintenance functions available and spyware scans, but I could tell right away that continued use of this program will aggravate me too far.When I booted up, I noticed that the "1" in my system tray was red. I clicked on it, after fighting with Norton Internet Security lock ups for a while dealing with granting OneCare access to the internet, and the very first thing that I saw is "You don’t have automatic updates turned on. Click here to turn on automatic updates." The very next thing I saw said "click here to purchase". I immediately went into Start-> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs and uninstalled Windows OneCare Live beta.

Why? For one thing, I can’t stand automatic updates. Because Microsoft has finally produced an operating system than can run overnight without crashing, I have gotten into the habit of being able to walk away from my computer in the middle of what I was doing and coming back later to pick up. It irritates me to get up in the morning, sit down at my computer to check email, and find my desktop and a stupid balloon sticking out of the system tray that says "Windows downloaded an important update". I have been working with Windows since 1996 and I think I know when to update my system. It’s not like the stupid balloon doesn’t pop up every 15 minutes when an update is available to remind you to download the update. I hardly think my computer is any less secure if the update is released at 3 AM and I don’t find out about it until 5:30AM. And so, realizing that Windows OneCare will not ever give me a green light without enabling this frustrating idiot function, I decided that I in turn will not give Windows OneCare a green light. You are the weakest link, You’re fired, good bye!

For the same reason, I realized that I will not be using  Internet Exporer 7 Beta 2, which I learned was available today. I have come to really appreciate Maxthon, which is the undisputed king of browsers. Maxthon is tabbed, built on the IE engine so that pages won’t have problems with certain sites like they will Firefox, and my favorite feature, tabs can be saved for later. I can reboot my computer and literally pick up on each page I left off on. I can find a site that sounds interesting, open it in a tab, and come back to it when I feel like it.

I downloaded IE7 Beta 2 this afternoon. As soon as I opened it, I got a notice that my security settings place my computer at risk. However, it would not tell me what setting exactly places my computer at risk. I could select from either "fix my settings for me", "open security settings", and "help with security settings". Opening my security settings did not show me any indication of what IE7 could possibly have a problem with, so I closed security settings and closed the little notification bar at the top of the tab. I opened another tab and the notification came back. I realized that once again, unless I was willing to turn the settings of my computer over to the wizard of Redmond, I could not use the product.

I suddenly find myself wanting to carve out time in my schedule to learn how to configure Linux for my needs. My enthusiasm for Windows Vista just died.

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