Microsoft's Free Anti-virus Software 'Morro' Coming Soon
Microsoft plans to roll out the beta version of its free anti-virus software for PCs, code-named Morro, putting Microsoft in competition with anti-virus companies such as McAfee and Symantec. Analysts see the move as a competitive threat to those companies, which make anti-virus products that have long been a part of the Microsoft Windows ecosystem.Microsoft plans to launch a free anti-virus service for PCs "soon," according to the company. The program, code-named Morro and eventually available for download from Microsoft's Website, could represent a potential long-term threat to companies such as Symantec and McAfee that market anti-virus software for PCs. The code name apparently is in reference to Morro de Sao Paolo, a village on the island of Tinhare in Brazil, one of the emerging markets that Microsoft is attempting to penetrate with the release. Microsoft originally announced the free software in November 2008, and has suggested that Morro will replace Live OneCare, another anti-virus product that failed to gain substantive market traction.
Early reports suggest that Morro will be comparable in its offerings to low-end software from McAfee, Symantec and other companies in the space, which make programs generally costing between $40 and $50. Morro will protect against viruses and spyware, as well as rootkits and Trojans. The question remains whether some of the features that users expect from other products, such as encryption and data backup, will also be present.