Microsoft released free anti-virus software “Morro”
Still busy looking for free anti-virus, anti-malware or anti-spyware security protection product? Most Windows users do not have such a worry by second half of 2009, as Microsoft has announced plan to offer a no-cost consumer security offering to “address the growing need for a PC security solution tailored to the demands of emerging markets, smaller PC form factors and rapid increases in the incidence of malware”.
Microsoft recently announced it was doing away with its subscription-based consumer security suite, Windows Live OneCare. In its place, Microsoft plans a free, standalone antivirus product, code-named ‘Morro’, which, the company says, will meet the needs of emerging markets. Countries cited by Microsoft as being in this category include Brazil, China and India.
The software product, codenamed “Morro” after a beach in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is already being tested by Microsoft employees and a trial version will be made available “soon”. Microsoft has stated that Morro would be available by the end of 2009 at the latest. “Morro” is likely to be targeted to compete with the low end of anti-virus products from other providers, and it will not have much of an impact on sales of full-blown security suites. According to Janice Chaffin, president of Symantec’s Consumer Division, “Microsoft’s free product is basically a stripped down version of the OneCare product Microsoft pulled from the shelves. A full Internet security suite is what consumers require today to stay fully protected.” According to Microsoft, the move is much more altruistic. It is intended to “remove the barriers” that keep a large percentage of consumers from installing and using anti-malware protection. However, if protecting emerging markets really is the goal, the decision certainly doesn’t appear to be tied to infection rates.
Here are some screenshots of Morro:
It seems unlikely that Morro would be used as a tool against counterfeit software. Adoption rates would probably be a challenge when two out of the three countries mentioned have very low infection rates, according to Microsoft’s data. And building anti-counterfeiting functions into Morro would cause even more negative fallout than Windows Genuine Advantage. In any event, the entire emerging-market focus seems questionable.
Download Microsoft Morro Beta:
32-bit (x86) Windows Vista and Windows 7: mssefullinstall-x86fre-en-us-vista.exe
64-bit (x64) Windows Vista and Windows 7: mssefullinstall-amd64fre-en-us-vista.exe
Windows XP: mssefullinstall-x86fre-en-us-xp.exe