Microsoft goes global with antivirus tool update

Release of latest version of OneCare next week marks the first time the security and PC maintenance tool will be sold outside the U.S.

Microsoft plans to ship an update to Windows Live OneCare on January 30, marking the first time the antivirus and PC maintenance tool will be sold outside the U.S.

The release of OneCare version 1.5 is slated to coincide with the consumer launch of Windows Vista, Microsoft's long-awaited operating system update. The new OneCare version, as expected, will also run on Vista, Microsoft said in a statement Tuesday.

OneCare is Microsoft's first consumer security product, released in May. It combines antivirus, antispyware and firewall software with backup features and several tune-up tools for Windows PCs. Microsoft is going head-to-head with security companies such as Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro.

The OneCare update includes a single scanning engine that will detect viruses as well as spyware, increasing the efficiency and protection delivered by the tool, according to Microsoft. Other enhancements will make PC security and maintenance simpler, the company said in a statement.

Also, this release of OneCare will be the first to be sold outside the U.S. It will also be available in Australia, Japan, Mexico and Singapore, among other countries, according to Microsoft.

OneCare is priced at $49.95 a year for use on up to three PCs. International pricing will be similar, Microsoft said. Retailers often offer significant discounts, however. In the U.S., has sold OneCare for .

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