RealTime IT News

'Morro' Beta Coming Soon, Says Microsoft

After three years of sluggish sales, Microsoft's Live OneCare PC health service is about to be replaced by a free service that will focus much more tightly on security and malware protection.

The free service, codenamed 'Morro,' is currently in internal testing within Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and will begin public beta testing "soon," according to a company spokesperson. The company has said Morro will be released by the end of the year.

Microsoft first announced Live OneCare in May 2005. However, the service itself actually didn't launch commercially until almost exactly a year later.

Then, in November, Microsoft announced that it will quit selling the three-year-old Live OneCare service at the end of June 2009.

Instead, it will offer Morro. Morro will focus on providing consumer security, while Live OneCare offers maintenance, backup and performance tuning in addition to security functions like antivirus and malware detection and removal. Live OneCare costs $49.95 per year.

"In November 2008, Microsoft announced plans to deliver a new no-cost anti-malware solution to consumers in the second half of calendar year 2009. Code-named 'Morro' the solution is designed to provide comprehensive protection from malware including viruses, spyware and other malicious threats," the spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.

Among the categories of malware that Morro aims to protect against are viruses, spyware, rootkits and Trojans.

Morro will be available as a download and will support Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.