Microsoft to offer free security in 2009

'Morro' to protect Windows users from malware including viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  November 20, 2008

Microsoft plans to offer free anti-virus software to its customers by the second half of 2009.

Codenamed ‘Morro’, the solution will be available as a free download to users of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.

The solution will protect users from malware such as viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans without using excessive computing resources, which is good news for low-bandwidth and less powerful computers.

Microsoft also announced that it would scrap sales of its existing Live OneCare security program from June 30, 2009, with direct sales of the product being phased out when Morro becomes available.

"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 is expected to challenge security firms such as McAfee and Symantec that boast a similar service for fixed prices.

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