Microsoft kills OneCare, replaces it with freebie 'Morro'

Microsoft kills OneCare, replaces it with freebie 'Morro'

Summary: Microsoft today announced plans to kill its Windows Live OneCare PC care and security suite and replace it with a free anti-malware utility.The new product, code-named "Morro," will be designed for a smaller footprint that will use fewer computing resources, making it ideal for low-bandwidth scenarios or less powerful PCs, Microsoft said its surprise announcement.

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Microsoft kills OneCare, pushes ‘free’ anti-malware toolMicrosoft today announced plans to kill its Windows Live OneCare PC care and security suite and replace it with a free anti-malware utility.

The new product, code-named "Morro," will be designed for a smaller footprint that will use fewer computing resources, making it ideal for low-bandwidth scenarios or less powerful PCs, Microsoft said its surprise announcement.

Retail sales of Windows Live OneCare, which offered non-security PC care features such as printer sharing, data backup and automated PC tune-up, ends on June 30, 2009.

The company said "Morro" will be available in the second half of 2009 and will feature standard anti-malware capabilities to detect viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans.

Morro will use the same home-built malware protection engine that powered Windows Live OneCare.

The new solution will deliver the same core protection against malware as that offered through Microsoft's enterprise solutions, but will not include many of the additional non-security features found in many consumer security suites.

The freebie will be available as a stand-alone download and offer malware protection for the Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.

UPDATE:  Mary-Jo Foley has more, including this nugget:

Microsoft’s Equipt — which Microsoft launched in July of this year — is dead and Microsoft is having to go back and pull copies of Equipt from the channel (Circuit City in the U.S. and DSGI in the U.K.). Microsoft is offering customers a pro-rated refund for the service and allowing purchasers to keep Office Home & Student edition for free forever, Microsoft officials said.

* Disclosure: I work for a company that competes directly with Microsoft's anti-malware offerings.

Topics: Security, Hardware, Malware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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139 comments
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  • OneCare sucks

    This thing is way to demanding and obnoxious. People have been trying to tell this team they don't want to see yellow and red bubbles all the time - just because you did not run Microsoft's stupid backup or turned off windows auto-update. I mean, not everyone wants to or needs to use these! The team failed. The vision the team failed was their own and not that of their users. I hope they all get fired.
    FireThorn
    • Horses for courses

      Certainly, for many non-technical users, it was raising the awareness that security had to be viewed more holistically than other products available at the time.

      I think 'failed' is rather a harsh term since LOC precipitated cheaper and more integrated offerings in the marketplace. We won through its being there.

      And it wasn't like it was hitting you over the head with the different colours.

      Actually, I will miss it, after having used the limited and intrusive offerings from ZoneAlarm, Norman and Symantec.
      Patanjali
      • Symantec and Mcafee will sue microsoft.

        They will not stand for microsoft to offer this service for free. I have used AVG,Norton,McAfee,Kaspersky. It seems one care is good enough and actually better than AVG.
        Norton and Mcafee will suffer really bad if this happens.
        ericsami
        • If they become redundant...

          ...then they are not doing they're job properly.

          If this does cause people to drop other AV software then these vendors need to give people a reason to buy a product rather than accept a free one.

          This should promote competion & growth in the AV marketplace, not kill it.

          There are already free AV software, McAfee et al are not sueing Grisoft and the likes!
          DevJonny
        • Mcafee Trouble

          Then maybe Mcaffee deserves to suffer.... it's invasive, overpriced, and obnoxious in its reminders.

          Besides, with all the spewing about how easily MS products are prone to viruses, it's about time MS stepped up to do something about it for free. If it works, what's to complain over?
          Nemesys_z
        • Sued for what?

          If it is offered as a free download, and not bundled with any of their other software, there is no issue for which they can be sued.
          kyron.gustafson9
        • Sue Microsoft for what???

          Microsoft has had free AV (msav) since almost their humble beginnings with every copy of DOS, forget that none of these products were ever any good. As with old DOS programs that were not money makers, the only time that new definitions were added was when a new version of the OS came out. Pretty much useless. Granted they push them out alot faster now, but if you have seen the number of PCs that I have that need to have spyware removed and windows defender is running up-to-date and says everything is fine, no problems found ... you may want to format me and start over...

          If MS was trying to break into the OS business right now with the kind of history they have with there other products... there would be no debating or sueing.
          dbisse
          • True... No threat to anyone!...

            As ineffective as I've experienced this utility, you would be better off with other third party independent freebees.
            JCitizen
        • It Is Not a Full Security Suite, so No they Won't

          Did they sue MS for having BitDefender? NO. Why?? Because it is not a full security suite and that is what both McAfee and Symantec are selling.

          Even if they tried they would lose on the grounds that other free options are available on the market.
          dunn2
          • You can't sue

            someone for offering their product for free.
            End of discussion.

            Whether it's the same product others offer or not is ridiculously irrelevant.
            tikigawd
          • Leveraging

            No - but you can sue a company that leverages a monopoly position in one market (OS) to enter another.
            SpikeyMike
          • Uh, except that...

            ...MS doesn't have a monopoly. The crybaby companies (Apple, Netscape, Norton, Sun, etc. etc. etc.) who sue Microsoft relating to "monopolistic practices" and the idiot judges who entertain these ridiculous lawsuits waste everybody's money.

            There is NO MONOPOLY IN OPERATING SYSTEMS. Ever hear of Apple? Unix? Linux? Many flavors of which are FREE? How does MS even come CLOSE to having a monopoly in such an environment?

            Just because Microsoft has been more successful in establishing a user base with their OS doesn't mean they have a monopoly.

            Those who disagree need to look up the meaning of the Latin root mono-

            Duh.
            quasilou
          • And your point is?

            I can see where you might be going, but I'll let you explain it in your own words.
            tikigawd
          • quasilou, you're spouting absolute and utter nonsense...

            Your statements are factually incorrect, and display an astonishing ignorance of the facts.

            "...MS doesn't have a monopoly."

            It has been established as a legal fact that Microsoft has a monopoly on consumer desktop operating systems. This finding was upheld on appeal. It's a done deal. Get over it.

            "The crybaby companies..."

            Companies cannot be crybabies, because they are not people. Please stop anthropomorphizing. Your response is purely emotional, with no facts to support your position.

            "There is NO MONOPOLY IN OPERATING SYSTEMS."

            You're playing semantic games. You deliberately left out some words to try and make your argument seem more convincing, but you're factually incorrect.

            "Ever hear of Apple? Unix? Linux? Many flavors of which are FREE? How does MS even come CLOSE to having a monopoly in such an environment?"

            By controlling 80 to 90 percent of the market. Duh?

            "Just because Microsoft has been more successful in establishing a user base with their OS doesn't mean they have a monopoly."

            Actually, that's exactly what it does mean. When one company is so "successful" that they are able to eliminate or marginalize all competition, then yes, they do become a monopoly. That's how it works.

            Your effort to redefine terminology to match your personal opinion is futile.

            "Those who disagree need to look up the meaning of the Latin root mono-"

            No, they don't. That's just ridiculous. The latin root of mono hasn't got squat to do with the contemporary legal definition of a monopoly.

            You are claiming that the original latin meaning of a prefix from thousands of years ago somehow trumps the current legal definition of the term. That's beyond stupid, it's absurd. It's like saying a pie chart requires a crust.
            bmerc
          • actually, you can sue someone for pretty much any stupid reason you want

            Whether you can WIN the lawsuit is a different question entirely.
            bmerc
        • uhhhh

          OK
          tikigawd
        • Sue Microsoft? Ridiculous!

          It would be a waste of time and money, as they would have absolutely no case.

          With AVG and AVAST offering very good free anti-virus/malware software programs, Symantec and McAfee would have sued them long ago, if there was anyway they could and win.

          What hurts Symantec and McAfee more is Windows Vista. I run Vista Ultimate, and ONLY use the free edition of AVAST for anti-virus/malware protection. I use Vista Ultimate's built-in backup software for backups, Windows Defender as a second malware utility and TuneUp Utilities 2008 for all other computer issues that can affect performance, such as registry problems, startup programs, and fragmentation, to name a few.

          So, Symantec and McAfee get none of my dollars, and I suspect many other PC users who run the Vista OS do the same. Now those running WinXP would need something like Symantec or McAfee - I used ZoneAlarm when I ran WinXP.
          mustang_z
          • If Symantec hadn't...

            cried and stomped their feet and won a backdoor key to the Vista kernel, I might partially agree.

            But Vista is hardly invulnerable compared to other OS.
            JCitizen
        • Then should...

          ...every company that offers free anti-malware/virus software be sued, or just Microsoft? I'm not promoting MS, nor am I downing the other companies, but MS is hardly the only company that offers software for free, especially anti-malware software.
          waterhzrd
        • Or...

          ...they 'll start writing viruses for Linux and Mac so that they can sell their products to them !
          ghost_ghost