Free PC Security Software from Microsoft

November 19, 2008

(ChattahBox) — Microsoft plans to phase out its One Care security software for PCs. It will discontinue OneCare from June 2009 and offer thinner PC protection software specifically aimed at protecting the PC from malware. The new software is code names as “Morro” which will be free to the users but will come with “non-security” features that are bundled with subscription and will include printer sharing and automated PC tune up.

Morro is aimed towards people who do not buy anti-virus software. It will use less system resources as compared to OneCare. It will protect the system from Trojans and viruses but will not have added benefits such as systems management and backup capabilities.

“Because they’re not concerned about malware, the number of people who don’t have antivirus software or don’t keep it up to date exceeds 50 percent in developed markets, and it’s worse in emerging markets,” Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management for the Online Services and Windows Division at Microsoft, said in an interview. “Live OneCare was tailored for developed markets with broadband…and it’s not meeting the needs of a lot of customers.” She also said that Morro will be act as a core anti-malware at no charge for consumers. Those looking for fine alternatives can buy them from third parties.

Morro will be shipped by the end of 2009 and OneCare will be phased out gradually thereafter. OneCare subscribers will continue to receive support till the end of their subscriptions. “In order for us to focus on delivering this new security solution to millions of customers around the world, we have decided to phase out Windows Live OneCare,” Microsoft wrote in a blog posting Tuesday.

Microsoft started selling its anti-virus, OneCare, in May 2006. It worried the vendors that it may use its desktop monopoly to push its sales. However, the product failed after the initial reviews and could not promote its system management and backup features along with its three user model. Thus, it could not challenge the dominance of anti-virus leaders such as Symantec and McAfee.


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