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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.