Moving towards their dream of a subscription-based operating system (and ultimately a subscription-based computer), Microsoft has announced per-year pricing plans for Windows OneCare. For continued “complete” protection, a Windows machine running OneCare Live will be charged to the tune of $49.95 per year. This will include functionality for up to three computers, so the average home with 1-3 PCs will pay the same price. Microsoft may run into difficulties selling OneCare, as it took a long time to even convince people of the need for anti-virus protection, much less anti-hacker protection. This price doesn't drop for renewals either, with every year being another $49.95.

Microsoft's decision to charge customers extra for anti-virus protection comes despite repeated claims by the company about the level of importance accorded to security in Windows Vista. Allchin last month said: "Safety and security is the overriding feature that most people will want to have Windows Vista for." ®
It will be very interesting to see how people react to this.