This morning, Microsoft announced the immediate availability of Windows Live OneCare, the company's new subscription-based PC health offering. Windows Live OneCare is now available for downloading via the Web, and customers interested in purchasing the retail boxed version can do so starting Thursday. OneCare is currently available only in the United States, but Microsoft plans to add international versions later this year.

"Windows Live OneCare delivers what millions of consumers have been asking for: one source for top-to-bottom maintenance, support and performance optimization tools plus increased protection that takes the worry out of PC care," says Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. "This 'just take care of it' experience enables customers to focus on what they really care about, which is to be able to sit down at their PCs and enjoy their digital lifestyles."

OneCare includes a number of managed PC health services that will be continually updated, automatically, over the course of a user's subscription time frame. These services include anti-virus and firewall, PC tune-up, backup and restore, and various modes of support. OneCare also integrates with Windows Defender, Microsoft's free antispyware utility.

OneCare costs $49 a year and can be installed on up to three PCs. My review of OneCare will be updated later today to address changes in the final version. For more information about OneCare, and a trial download, please visit the Microsoft Web site (both URLs are found below).

Windows Live OneCare

Windows Live OneCare Review