You don’t have to leave Windows Live OneCare right away. It’s not broken and you don’t have to replace it. It will be supported until December 2010. Still, we can’t feel completely comfortable with a product that’s being taken off the market. You should consider switching to a current product when your OneCare subscription expires.

If you decide to leave OneCare, you have to cancel your subscription, especially if you bought it online. In that case Microsoft has your credit card number and will automatically renew unless you take steps ahead of time.

The official way to cancel is to call OneCare support at 1-866-ONECARE (1-866-663-2273) and choose “Cancel your account.” Don’t do that until you’re ready! If you cancel more than one month before your subscription expires, your service will likely be cancelled immediately.

When I called to cancel just now, the process was painless and took less than three minutes from the time I dialed the phone. There are stories of people who had a difficult time on the phone but I had a nice chat that went smoothly.

If you have trouble cancelling by phone for some reason, it might work to log into the account management portal for the Windows Live ID associated with the subscription and click on Billing Information. Change the credit card information – either the number or the billing address – so the charge won’t go through.

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