Microsoft Announces Free Anti-Virus Code Named – Morro

Good news on the Windows front.  On November 18th, Microsoft Announced it would be releasing a new Free Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware product with Code Name “Morro.”  The product will be available in the second half of 2009.  The press release also stated they would be killing off the Windows Live OneCare product effective June 30th, 2009.

I have to say that Microsoft continues to step up its security line.  They provide the best-of-breed Security/Software Update process for their Operating System (Apple is doing a pretty good job there as well) with Windows Update, and now they will be building AV into their products.  The best part about this is the next time a family member buys a PC and has me come over to “Clean” it before use, I won’t find crippled time-bombed versions of McAfee Anti-Virus, or Norton spiderwebbed throughout the PC.  Time savings of at least 30 minutes per PC.  <seriously>

Now granted, this isn’t the first time Microsoft is giving something away.  In a way, they are already scanning your PC monthly with their Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool or Code Name Titan.  But I’ll talk about this another day.

So, with the introduction of a Free AV Product, Microsoft now provides “Out of the Box”:

  • Automatic Security Updates for Microsoft Software & OS
  • Software Firewall & IPSEC Management
  • Group Policy for all facets of Security on the OS
  • Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware (Code Name “Morro”)
  • Anti-Spyware (Windows Defender)

Ouch…that has to hurt the legacy Crime Fighters, AKA – McAfee, Symantec (Norton), and Trend Micro.  For the last 15 years, this has been their bread and butter of easy cash.  Do you think if these companies go out of business, the number of Viruses they create out there will go down?  Hmm, just a thought.

Honestly, although this will probably HURT the big Security Vendors, they have all been diversifying over the past several years (McAfee owns Foundstone & Secure Computing now), so we probably won’t see them vanish.  Plus, although Microsoft in their press release, says Morro will be a free download for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, they don’t exactly say if it will be free for Corporations.  Additionally, nothing so far on the server side.  So I’m guessing unless MSFT has another announcement coming, then McAfee and Norton should be okay on the Gateway and Server side of AV.



  1. shockersh

    December 1, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Very nice! About time. This should have been baked into the OS a long time ago. I figure the only thing they have been waiting on is the building of a good team that can release 0 day signatures.

  2. Crew

    December 5, 2008 at 1:21 am

    I wish it would come out to”morrow”

  3. Justin

    December 31, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    There is one problem with your idea that you will be able to not remove all of the pre-loaded apps on a new PC. McAfee and the like pay Dell and other vendors to load the software since 1 out of about 3 people will convert it to a full subscription. With all of the Monopoly things that Microsoft has to jump through this product will end up like Live Mail or some of the other software I imagine as seperate download since McAfee and Norton will cry about about how they are taking business away from them. So like I said don’t expect Dell or any other big player to stop bundling a paid AV add-in. Hopefully this will get McAfee and Norton to start offering a free solution as well.

  4. Jack Neth

    July 4, 2009 at 9:34 am

    McAfee and Norton don’t need to worry. In the end, I am sure it will just be another vector to exploit it’s vunerabilities. The more the try, the worse it gets. Doesn’t ms come up with a new malware tool every week or so? Changing the name won’t really help

  5. Elijah Navejas

    April 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Excellent blogpost!! Very informative… Looking for more posts like this!! Keep you the goodwork!

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