MS kills off OneCare to introduce free security software
Pay less for Morro
Microsoft has abandoned its attempt to make money from selling anti-virus software to consumers, two years after entering the cut-throat market.
The Windows Live OneCare consumer security service will be discontinued from the end of June next year in favour of a free consumer product, codenamed Morro, currently under development.
The focus for Morro will be in defending against malware (viruses, Trojans, rootkits etc), omitting the backup and PC tuning features of OneCare, Microsoft explains. Morro will join existing free consumer packages from the likes of AVG and Avira, which have traditionally marketed free anti-malware products as a way of increasing brand awareness.
OneCare is to be killed off most likely because it failed to gain traction and sales in the market. Arguments that Microsoft was attempting to profit from the security shortcomings of Windows are one thing, and unfavourable initial reviews can't have helped, but OneCare's real problem was its failure to eat into the market share of established vendors such as Symantec and McAfee. Symantec responded to these challenges by first decrying Microsoft's lack of security expertise and more recently releasing a version of its flagship consumer, Norton Security 2009, that goes a long way towards addressing long-standing complaints about resource hogging and system bloat.
Microsoft has had a fair bit of success with cleaning up malware infection through its Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is normally updated once every month as part of the Patch Tuesday update cycle. Offering consumers basic anti-malware protection at no cost, straight out of the box, is probably a good thing for internet hygiene. But it's bad news for the likes of Symantec and McAfee.
Much of the duo's success has come from pre-loading their software on PCs. Consumers are likely to be less likely to pay for a full-feature product when a cut-down product is available at no charge. ®
Microsoft Wanker, the most appropriate name ever.
@AC re: Stupid name
Anonymous Coward said, "And before all the Linux, Apple and other users get all smug, there is malware out there for other OSs, but not much. The amount of MS targetted malware has nothing to do with the vulnerability of the OS and everything to do with the popularity of Windows."
What a load of bollocks. Of course the popularity of Windows is a factor, because malware writers want to achieve maximum exposure, however, to say that this is the one and only reason is complete pish.
*nix-based OSes have had a massive advantage over Microsoft's offering for many years, because even if you could get someone to run your code, you couldn't easily elevate your privilege, whereas essentially all Windows users in a non-corporate environment (and a large proportion of those in a corporate environment too!) are running under an administrative context. Microsoft finally cottoned-on to this fact and implemented UAC, but it's just a shame that they've implemented it in such a cock-handed way that leads to people to disable the damn thing.
Every time I think 'Antivirus' I think in dodgy Italian...
Is it just me, or does the whole anti-virus industry smell a whole like fire-insurance scams?
"Nice PC you gots here, mister, be SHAME to catch a virus!"
Good on MS for providing AV for free; I hope they can keep it up to date to make it useful. Onecare really was pretty good, Symantec has only recently got a system that is not a total resource hog.