MSN drops parental controls for paying customers

Scott dunn By Scott Dunn

MSN Premium, Microsoft’s suite of paid Web services, is dropping some parental controls and recommending that its users switch to the company’s free Windows Live equivalents instead.

If this pattern continues, MSN Premium will be left with absolutely no services that aren’t provided free in Windows Live or Microsoft Windows itself, a situation I described in a Jan. 3 article.

E-mail and IM blocking features lost in MSN

MSN Premium dropped the ability to block e-mail and instant messages from certain contacts, beginning on Jan. 8. The announcement came from Microsoft in a letter to customers of MSN Premium, many of whom pay $9.95 per month for the service. (An unspecified number of other customers receive MSN Premium as part of a bundle when purchasing Net access from an Internet service provider.)

In a boldfaced paragraph, the letter urged customers, “If you want to continue to restrict e-mail or messenger contacts via Parental Controls, we recommend installing Family Safety from Windows Live™ One Care™.”

The letter goes on to state that Family Safety from Windows Live OneCare is free and that it “will become your new parental control application.”

The communique also provides installation instructions for installing the Windows Live Family Safety service and concludes, “we apologize for this inconvenience.”

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2008-01-17: