Morro, the Truth about the Free Replacement of Live OneCare
Article by George Norman
On 26 Nov 2008
Last week we were announcing that Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on its subscription based Live OneCare service and replace it with a free security solution, Morro. As expected, the announcement raised a lot of interest on several levels. The users of Live OneCare were wondering what will happen to them, people interested in free software were hyped about the possibility of getting a free application from Microsoft, and last but not least the people behind popular security software (AVG for example) were seeing Microsoft as a challenger on an already highly competitive market.

What I propose to present to you in this article is a list of concrete data on Morro – facts, not fiction. The first fact comes from McAfee, company that specializes in security software solutions such as the recently reviewed Total Protection 2009, and it sheds a little light on the reason why Microsoft chose to give up on Live OneCare. According to McAfee, Live OneCare had a market penetration of about 2%, which is a rather low percentage if you keep in mind that the service (which costs almost $50 per year) has been around since 2006. This in turn determined the Redmond team to “default to a dressed-down free model” which McAfee does not believe will meet the users’ security demands.


Even though Morro is expected to drop by the middle of 2009, this does not meant Live OneCare subscribers will be automatically discarded. Microsoft will respect its subscription contracts and will continue to provide support for the duration of the subscription. The Live One care team will even offer their support so as to make the transition to Morro as simple and as trouble-free as possible.

Morro will work with the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, but Vista or the older XP will not be left behind. Microsoft will use their Live OneCare experience and use it to build up Morro as a proper defense against all the malware threats that are to be found online. It must be noted that since June 2007, Microsoft has received several VB100 wards for their Live OneCare service.

One more fact that must be mentioned is that Microsoft is committed to coming up with a top quality anti-malware security solution simply because it tries to aid “consumers in more markets have a reliable, trusted experience on Windows PCs” – at least that’s what the Windows Live OneCare team say.

The CEO of AVG Technologies, J. R. Smith is not at all pleased with Microsoft’s decision. According to him, the decision to put out Morro is a copycat maneuver on the part of Microsoft. AVG Technologies as we all know it, for the last 8 years has been providing users with a free security software solution meant to protect them from all sorts of online nasties. On a personal note, the AVG team seems to be cocking about lately, with two of their updates causing AVG Antivirus to send XP in a reboot frenzy and detect Adobe Flash as malware.

Tags: Microsoft, Morro, Live OneCare, McAfee Total Security 2009
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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