Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Microsoft To Offer Free Security Suite

Microsoft has decided to discontinue its subscription-based consumer security suite and instead offer individuals free software to protect their PCs. The free security suite from MS will be code-named “Morro,” and is expected to be available in the second half of 2009.

In a statement issued yesterday, Microsoft promised the new sucurity suite will provide comprehensive protection from malware including viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans. Microsoft also said the software will be architected for a smaller footprint that will use fewer computing resources, making it ideal for low-bandwidth scenarios or less powerful PCs.

“Customers around the world have told us that they need comprehensive, ongoing protection from new and existing threats, and we take that concern seriously,” said Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management for the Online Services and Windows Division at Microsoft. “This new, no-cost offering will give us the ability to protect an even greater number of consumers, especially in markets where the growth of new PC purchases is outpaced only by the growth of malware.”

Morro, which will be available for download over the Internet, will work on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and the upcoming Windows 7.

The company also announced that it will discontinue retail sales of its Windows Live OneCare subscription service effective June 30, 2009. Windows Live OneCare will continue to be sold for Windows XP and Windows Vista at retail through June 30, 2009. Direct sales of OneCare will be gradually phased out when “Morro” becomes available. Microsoft has said regardless of the method of purchase, they will ensure that all current customers remain protected through the life of their subscriptions.

For current One Care users thatt think they should be refunded Microsoft's Barzdukas said customers can get refunds if they feel they are owed them. "We will absolutely do the right thing by our customers, and if the customer wants to call our free phone support line we'll make sure they are happy," she said.

A posting on the Windows Live OneCare Team Blog has a detailed FAQ for customers.

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