Microsoft Corp. 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 MySpace.com to meet child victims.
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.