Recently, Microsoft announced their plans of changing their strategy for anti-virus software. The software giant is not going to continue retail sales of its Windows Live OneCare product at the end of June, 2009. Instead it is going to offer free antivirus software, code-named “Morro” for Windows users.
Microsoft is planning to do this with the aim to upgrade PC security, especially outside the developed countries. It's an implicit admission that its OneCare strategy hasn't worked, it hasn't gained important market share. In addition, it hasn't influenced the malware industry.
In a blog posting Microsoft wrote that in order for them to focus on delivering this new security solution to millions of customers around the world, they have decided to phase out Windows Live OneCare.
Microsoft says it is going to stay with OneCare until it introduces new software by the end of 2009. OneCare sales are going to be gradually phased out sometime after that.
Morro is going to offer comprehensive protection from malicious programs. It includes viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans. This new security software will be offered at no charge to consumers. It will be designed for a smaller footprint that is going to use fewer computing resources, making it ideal for low-bandwidth scenarios or less powerful PCs.
Created for computer users who have not purchased antivirus software, Morro is going to use less system resources than OneCare. But Morro won't include the systems management and backup capabilities that OneCare had.
Microsoft said that the free antivirus software is going to be available in the same markets that OneCare is presently sold at. OneCare subscribers will continue to receive support through to the end of their subscriptions.
Senior director of product management for the Online Services and Windows Division at Microsoft, Amy Barzdukas said in a press release that the new, no-cost solution is going to give them the ability to protect more consumers, especially in markets where the increase of new PC sales is exceeded just by the rise of malware.
Windows is the source and target of malware in the world. Microsoft has worked hard to tighten security in Windows. Although, holes remain, especially for the very large numbers of consumers who don't bother to install and update security software.
Unfortunately, users would have to download basic security as an add-on. Microsoft has a responsibility to protect Windows, and shouldn't rely on users to take an extra step.