Microsoft Kills OneCare, Offers Morro as Free Replacement

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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After two years of lackluster performance by its all-in-one security and PC management service Microsoft OneCare, Microsoft said it will kill OneCare, replacing OneCare with free security software package Morro. The move by Microsoft to kill OneCare leaves the security service space wide open for competitors such as Symantec and its recent MessageLabs acquisition, McAfee, and Google and its Postini acquisition.

After garnering only 2 percent market share in the two years since its launch, Microsoft’s OneCare all-in-one security and PC management service will be replaced by a free software package.

In a statement, Microsoft said it will stop selling OneCare as of June 2009. The new software, code-named Morro, will be a no-frills program suited to smaller and less powerful computers, Microsoft says.

The software will be free to download and will support Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

In the statement, Microsoft said that Morro will be designed specifically as a small-footprint program that uses fewer system resources. Morro will be ideal for users with low-bandwidth connections or computers without much processing power, such as buyers of entry-level notebooks.
"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," said Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management with Microsoft's online services division, in the formal statement released by Microsoft.

Security vendor MXLogic says the market is becoming even more cutthroat with the October acquisition of MessageLabs by Symantec, which leaves just a few major players in the space: Google/Postini, McAfee, Symantec/MessageLabs and itself vying for scarcer pieces of the IT security budget pie.

Sales of the OneCare subscription service have been sluggish, most likely due to the prominence of players such as Symantec and McAfee in the anti-virus marketplace, sources say.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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