News that Microsoft is preparing to release its free security software product, codenamed Morro, once again focuses collective minds on the whole anti-malware market place.
Morro is a basic anti-virus tool that is being trialled inside Microsoft with a soon to be released beta. Designed to beat the usual array of malware including viruses, spyware, Trojans and rootkits Morro will be available free of charge.
Live OneCare, the poorly adopted predecessor of Morro, achieved a dire 2% market share after 2 years of Microsoft marketing efforts. Morro won't have all the features of Live OneCare, such as the PC Tune Up tool, as it is designed for the very low end consumer PC market. In the mean time Live OneCare will be retired to the great software grazing paddock in the sky by the end of June 2009.
Will Morro change the world? Unlikely.
Microsoft still appear to be adamant that they won't bake anti-malware into the operating system, so even though Morro is free of charge users are expected to make the effort of downloading and installing it.
Other AV vendors appear to be bullish about the release of Morro, and see it as a minor irritation rather than a significant competitor. In reality this probably hides a lot of concern, if nothing else extra marketing budget will have to be diverted back into the consumer market to avoid Morro stealing market share. After all, when consumer budgets are stretched paying the mortgage they may feel less inclined to spend