TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Microsoft to Offer Parental Web Monitoring

Microsoft to Offer Parental Web Monitoring

Reuters News Wire (
Mon, 13 Mar 2006 23:40:54 -0600

Microsoft Corp. said on Monday it plans to include a free service to
help parents control and monitor what their children are doing online
in its upcoming Windows Live offering of Web services.

The monitoring of children online has become a hot-button subject due
to a nationwide string of cases involving adult sexual predators using
virtual-communities on the Internet like to meet child

Windows Live is part of Microsoft's strategy to consolidate a range of
Web services -- e-mail, instant messaging, online PC security and
blogs -- to compete with Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. for Internet
advertising dollars.

Windows Live is being tested now and will launch sometime in the
second half of 2006.

Microsoft plans to roll out Windows Live Family Safety Settings in the
summer, which will allow parents to filter Web sites and receive
reports to see what their children are doing online.

The company also plans to eventually allow parents to control who
communicates with their children over e-mail, instant messaging and in
their blogs.

Such software already exists as part of bundled PC security offerings
from Trend Micro Inc., Symantec Corp. and McAfee Inc. and stand-alone
products from CyberPatrol and NetNanny, owned by LookSmart Ltd.

The software giant already offers a similar service under its
subscription-based MSN premium, but Microsoft said customers are
increasingly asking for the service to be free.

Microsoft said while parents often say they want to monitor their
child's activities online, they are often put off by the amount of
work and sometimes complexity involved in the process.

The company aims to simplify the process by allowing a parent, or
administrator, to monitor every family member's Web activities within
Windows Live. The service is only available for certain versions of
Windows XP Service Pack 2 and will be compatible with the upcoming
Windows Vista operating system.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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