In typical (for Windows Live) surreptitious fashion, Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner (formerly Windows Live Safety Center) has apparently left beta status and been released worldwide. Joris Evers at CNET:
The Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is now available around the world, Microsoft said in a statement Monday. The online scanner removes viruses and spyware, rids a hard drive of clutter, and runs defragmentation.
The service is similar to Trend Micro’s House Call and McAfee’s FreeScan, though those only remove malicious software.
The international launch is a precursor to a broader release of Windows Live OneCare. Beta versions of the consumer security software are scheduled to be available by year’s end in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K., Microsoft said.
In case the distinction isn’t clear, the safety scanner is a free Web based tool (try it out here) while Windows Live OneCare is a purchased, downloadable program which launched in the USA in May and has put a dent in the established players in the PC security market.