Farewell Windows Live OneCare, Hello Morro?

A top Microsoft executive announced just recently the company's plan to phase out sales of its Windows Live OneCare subscription offering but has promised to continue to support all of their subscribers for the terms of their subscription and help ensure their PCs are protected and up to date.

Amy Barzdukas, Microsoft's Senior Director of Product Management, has confirmed this move in order to focus on removing hardware and cost barriers that can limit access to core malware protection. It is somehow a redirection of the current offering to a new one as Microsoft will be realigning its products to suit the current user demands for anti-malware protection.

In an interview on 18th November 2008, Barzdukas revealed a new anti-malware offering, codenamed "Morro", which is scheduled to be released in the second half of June 2009. "Morro" will provide protection from a variety of threats – including viruses, spyware, rootkits and Trojans – and is specifically designed to address the demands of smaller PC form factors and the rapid increases in the incidence of global malware.
"The decision to offer a new anti-malware solution, code-named “Morro,” at no additional cost to consumers is driven by our commitment to provide a trustworthy computing experience. We know that there are still some 60 percent of consumers in developed markets, and even more in emerging markets, that don’t have up-to-date security protection on their PCs, and we want to help provide that core level of protection", Barzdukas said.
She added, "Providing access to a trusted solution at no charge is the right thing to do to help protect our customers. Through this new offering we are removing barriers to adoption and providing consumers with the core malware protection they need from a company they can trust. We’ll also be able to continue capturing threat intelligence that will help our security researchers develop new signatures and continue protection enhancements from which all consumers — and enterprises — can benefit".
Sounding very attractive isn't it? There was no clear statement whether or not "Morro" will be fully available for free. Read on.
Barzdukas: "This offering is not a free version of Windows Live OneCare. “Morro” represents a new offering that is designed in response to market changes and consumer needs. We hear from consumers that they need core malware protection in low-bandwidth scenarios, or that will run on less powerful machines. That's why we will design “Morro” to have a smaller footprint and to use fewer computing resources.

This new solution will not offer or support multi-PC “circle” management, printer sharing, performance-enhancing tools such as disk defragmenting, or any of the backup and restore capabilities that make up the Windows Live OneCare suite.

Current Windows Live OneCare subscribers won’t notice any changes and there is no action needed. We will continue to support all of our subscribers for the terms of their subscription and help ensure their PCs are protected and up to date. Once the new offering is available, existing Windows Live OneCare subscribers will be given the option to migrate or to choose a different security solution from a variety of third-party consumer security providers.

Protecting consumers and ensuring a positive Windows experience is our primary goal, and we will continue to invest in security efforts that benefit the majority of today’s consumers. We've been making great strides in improving the security of all of our software, and we continue to hold that commitment".
I personally do not know how computer users will embrace "Morro". The codename itself is somewhat awkward. But, oh well, it is just a codename.

This announcement of a Microsoft top brass is still fresh. More and more revelations will come out in the future as the world will be anticipating the release of this new anti-malware offering and the benefits it will serve.

Read more of Barzdukas Q&A