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Sami 03-14-2006 02:45 PM

Microsoft to offer free parental Web monitoring
 
Parents who want to control what their children see online, as well as who they talk to, have a friend in Redmond

Microsoft expects to release a first version of new, no-cost parental control software for Windows XP by the end of June, the company said on Monday.

As reported earlier, the software, called Windows Live Family Safety Settings, is designed to help keep Web content that parents deem inappropriate from reaching their children. A preview version of the tool is currently available to testers.

The first version of the new software will let people filter online content and get activity reports on Web sites that were visited by users, Microsoft representatives said.

An update, due later this year, will add a feature called "contact management", which lets parents approve contacts on Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Messenger, the replacements for Hotmail and MSN Messenger respectively, Microsoft said. The feature also gives control over who can access their kids' blogs on MSN Spaces.

In addition to the Live family filter, which works with Windows XP, Microsoft is building parental controls into Windows Vista, the next version of the operating system due by the end of the year. "These products are designed to be complementary," said Alan Packer, a product unit manager at Microsoft. "We developed them together."

News Source: zdnet.co.uk


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