or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Microsoft announces free anti-virus service for Windows
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Microsoft announces free anti-virus service for Windows

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
Leading anti-virus software producers Symantec and McAfee will face new competition in the lucrative market for fixing Windows when Microsoft launches its own free security service, dubbed Morro, sometime in the second half of 2009.

Three years ago, Microsoft unveiled Live OneCare, the corporations first attempt at entering the billion-dollar market for software to protect Windows PCs. It tanked as a paid subscription service, which offered users a free 90 day trial period before forcing them to activate the product and begin paying annual fees.

The service was criticized for being unable to detect a significant number of threats, with one site ranking the service dead last among a comparison of 17 anti-virus services. Last spring, Microsoft acquired Komoku and merged its computer security software in the OneCare service.

Now, the company hopes to provide a stripped-down version of the product for free in order to counter the issue of viruses, spyware, rootkits, and trojan malware that plagues the company's software platform, a problem Apple has regularly cited in its advertisements as a reason to "Get a Mac."

Amy Barzdukas, the senior director of product management for Microsoft's online services stated, "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."

Symantec and McAfee are experiencing strong growth trends and have for years, despite the availability of software like Microsofts OneCare and other free alternatives. However, with Microsoft bundling a free version of its anti-virus service with Windows on PCs before they hit the shelf, consumers will have fewer reasons to look for paid anti-virus services or other free alternatives.

That might likely result in the collapse of a viable commercial market for delivering Windows malware tools, eventually giving the company the ability to charge for the product it could not successfully sell in the presence of competition. Both Symantec and McAfee cried foul over changes Microsoft made to secure Vista which they worried would impact their business. However, both companies are now expressing official confidence that the new Morro won't affect their sales, even as the announcement caused dips in their stock.

The two companies also just settled a complaint that claimed they had "renewed software subscriptions without customers' knowledge or authorization" according to an article published by Reuters citing New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Reuters reported that under the terms of the settlement "both companies will make detailed disclosures to consumers about subscription terms and renewal policies, and each company will pay $375,000 in penalties and costs."

Anti-virus vendors have recently eyed growth in the Mac platform as a potential opportunity for expanding outside of Windows, but the lack of any significant malware threats and the problems associated with installing third party security services has largely kept Apple's customers out of reach. Apple bundled McAfee's Virux tool with its .Mac service until the flood of complaints from users resulted in the buggy, performance sapping product being pulled.

Leading Mac security experts, including CanSecWest winner Charlie Miller, have recommended against installing extra security software on the Mac due to the cost and performance overhead it eats up. "I dont think it protects me as well as it says," Miller told Computerworld in an interview. "If I was worried about attacks, I would use it, but Im not worried."
post #2 of 80
shouldn't the antivirus just be an invisible part of the os instead of an add on?
post #3 of 80
This is kind of a double edged sword.

While its good of M$ to finally address one of the main faults with their product with out trying to get even more money from it, it also highlights said fault.

Althought I do wonder on how well this will preform given their history at antivirus software.

This may also add to Windows reputation for being RAM heavy.
post #4 of 80
Surely there's massive anti-trust issues here?
post #5 of 80
Free isn't necessarily better. It needs to be effective.

Wonder if symantec or mcafee will flag Morro as a virus?
--

There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone.
Reply
--

There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone.
Reply
post #6 of 80
1. Sell an insecure OS.
2. Bundle no-frills anti-spyware
3. Bundle no-frills anti-virus
4. ?????
5. Profit
post #7 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdb View Post

Surely there's massive anti-trust issues here?

Not if they are giving it away for free... With your argument, I could argue that Apple is also wide open for anti-trust concerns for many of the new features of Leopard. Many of them were offered by 3rd parties.
post #8 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh View Post

Not if they are giving it away for free... With your argument, I could argue that Apple is also wide open for anti-trust concerns for many of the new features of Leopard. Many of them were offered by 3rd parties.

Actually... Microsoft gave Internet Explorer away for free, too. And that put Netscape out of business. There is nothing wrong with having a monopoly. It's when companies try to use that monopoly to stifle competition that the problems arise.

The US government and Europe will certainly be keeping their eyes on this one...
post #9 of 80
Quote:
Microsoft launches its own free security service, dubbed Morro, sometime in the second half of 2009.

Shouldn't this be dubbed MORON?
post #10 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

Actually... Microsoft gave Internet Explorer away for free, too. And that put Netscape out of business. There is nothing wrong with having a monopoly. It's when companies try to use that monopoly to stifle competition that the problems arise.

The US government and Europe will certainly be keeping their eyes on this one...


Yeah but they were bundling IE with the OS which was the problem.

If they included Netscape and others and gave users a choice I don't think that would have been a problem or maybe they included a way for users after installing to choose between IE and others that would have been ok aslo but they integrated IE to leverage it's adoption.
post #11 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post

The US government and Europe will certainly be keeping their eyes on this one...

as if they actually care. oh kiddies

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Shouldn't this be dubbed anyone who wastes time and money with Windows only to be horribly disappointed is a MORON?

fixed.
post #12 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post





fixed.

Thank you.
post #13 of 80
I have never used antivirus software on any of my Windows machines and they work just fine. I think that AV causes more problems than it solves (I can't tell you how many friends I've helped out by removing Norton from their machines after it screwed them up) and is definitely unnecessary these days.

XP, Vista and 7 are now rock solid and are very secure. AV is not needed.
post #14 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

I have never used antivirus software on any of my Windows machines and they work just fine. I think that AV causes more problems than it solves (I can't tell you how many friends I've helped out by removing Norton from their machines after it screwed them up) and is definitely unnecessary these days.

XP, Vista and 7 are now rock solid and are very secure. AV is not needed.

But can you find your files?
post #15 of 80
AV isnt useless for everyone. But it does kill the performance of all but the most high end computers.
post #16 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandil View Post

1. Sell an insecure OS.
2. Bundle no-frills anti-spyware
3. Bundle no-frills anti-virus
4. ?????
5. Profit

Step 4 is "Have hardware partners inject massive bloatware into our OS"
post #17 of 80
A friends' macbook just recently stopped connecting to the internet via WiFi. Everything was set up perfectly. After some hours of checking and rechecking every possible setting we removed the MacAfee AV suite...

Suddenly everything worked flawlessly again!!

Whenever you are tempted to install AV on a mac: DON'T!! The only thing it does is messing up the system!
post #18 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaine_Michael View Post

shouldn't the antivirus just be an invisible part of the os instead of an add on?

Yes, but that would require the OS designers to include security in their core architecture from the start. That appears to have never been a top priority for Microsoft. I'm sure "partners" like Symantec lobby Microsoft heavily to leave things alone so it doesn't ruin their billion dollar industry.
Walter Rowe Photography
Columbia, Maryland - USA
Reply
Walter Rowe Photography
Columbia, Maryland - USA
Reply
post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdb View Post

Surely there's massive anti-trust issues here?

Yep. I see the browsers war all over again here but this time with AV software (maybe not as bad). If McAfee and Symantec does not act now they will loss this battle real fast. And as usual, the government will act after the damage is done. History alway repeats itself.
post #20 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Shouldn't this be dubbed MORON?

Ahh... Beat me to it. Thinking the same thing.

They "acquired Komoku and merged its computer security software so the company hopes to provide a stripped-down version of the product for free in order to counter the issue of viruses, spyware, rootkits, and trojan malware that plagues the company's software platform".

Is this just going to be a "tease" product to get people's feet in the door and then have to upgrade to some sort of paid service to be truly effective?

Will it cover all variations of software MS puts out like the Home Edition OS, Work Edition OS, Premium Edition OS, etc. with each upgrade the software has more in it then the lower priced versions, wouldn't that mean that there is more that can be effected by the"viruses, spyware, rootkits, and trojan malware that plagues the company's software platform".

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #21 of 80
The same company that brought you Swiss Cheese OS is now writing code to protect the holes.

No worries for AV companies. If MS AV software is nearly as good as their OS a huge quaternary market will emerge. Imagine "Get Norton Anti-Virus for Swiss Cheese 7's Anti-Virus for $39.99".

Users? Screwed as usual. I now completely unplug my iMac from the net when Bootcamping into Swiss Cheese.
post #22 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaine_Michael View Post

shouldn't the antivirus just be an invisible part of the os instead of an add on?

Yes, but the easiest and laziest solution is to spend $300 millions to tell people that PCs are cheaper
post #23 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

I have never used antivirus software on any of my Windows machines and they work just fine. I think that AV causes more problems than it solves (I can't tell you how many friends I've helped out by removing Norton from their machines after it screwed them up) and is definitely unnecessary these days.

XP, Vista and 7 are now rock solid and are very secure. AV is not needed.

Yeah, that'll be why my parents got a virus on their PC last month.
post #24 of 80
This is just weird to me. It makes sense for a company to try and protect their operating system, but I hoped it would have been by different methods other than copying existing security software. They have access to the core coding of the OS, the security software simply works around that code. Perhaps Morro will work on a more intelligent level than McAfee or Norton, but more than likely it's just Microsoft copying what others have done.

Here's what I see happening: McAfee and Symantec (if they don't already) will start writing their own viruses that they know this Morro software won't pick up, but their own software will. That, or this new software will bring a surge of attention from virus writers who will attempt to show that Morro is moronic.

Oh, and so we can avoid the whole "Macs have immaculate security" debate, here's a good read: http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/securit...9241748,00.htm

Windows gets attacked because it's what most people use, which is a shame. Microsoft needs to be a LOT more intelligent about anti virus software. The current model is flawed: a virus definition list that only gets updated AFTER viruses are made. Ideally, there would be one generic way to immune a system from threats, and have a block on viruses before they ever get out the door.
post #25 of 80
I don't understand why MS is bothering to do this. My guess is marketing so they start to look better in people's eyes (which they do need to do). But with the vast amount of GOOD FREE AV out there, this seems pointless. Also, I would never want my AV integrated with the OS. If the something gets through, then it can disable that part of the OS and then let other things in. Just like how I don't like using IE because how tied into the OS it is. (I stay away from Safari too, but I do know its not as tied in.)

But, again Appleinsider, this affects Macs how exactly? Don't bash MS here. Focus on Mac.

And BTW, Mac's aren't immune to attacks. They are stronger, definitely, but not immune. Your time will come too.
Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
Reply
Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
Reply
post #26 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

I have never used antivirus software on any of my Windows machines and they work just fine. I think that AV causes more problems than it solves (I can't tell you how many friends I've helped out by removing Norton from their machines after it screwed them up) and is definitely unnecessary these days.

XP, Vista and 7 are now rock solid and are very secure. AV is not needed.

Does that mean that my friend who uses Windows XP some version of it with some upgrade to some SP, whose child went to an ESPN sports site, ESPN! for Heaven's sake, and had a trojan installed that kept popping up from the dock area, warning them of their computer being infected and that they should buy their AV product to get rid of what their AV installed on their computer to harass them in the first place. It didn't show up as an app to be able to use the "add/remove" feature and it went away on it's own three days after the problem first cropped up. They have Norton AV service, but a lot good that did , but if they didn't would this still have occurred. I would love to tell them to save your money, forget Norton and remove its AV from your Windows computer. Can I tell them that?

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #27 of 80
THE BEST ANTIVIRUS is not using any Microsoft product!
post #28 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdb View Post

Yeah, that'll be why my parents got a virus on their PC last month.

i've been out of the Windows-world for several years now, but i've always assumed the key to avoiding viruses was safe browsing / email practices. I don't visit strange websites or open strange emails. Most older folk aren't as adept at knowing where the risks are and are thus more susceptible to attack.
post #29 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by drdb View Post

Surely there's massive anti-trust issues here?

Tricky, I think.

Can anyone really prevent MS from making their products safer and their users more secure..? Public opinion would be 100% with MS on this.

Worst possible scenario - user will be able to choose whether to install MS antivirus during OS setup or not. In some markets, AV might not be available on media but accessible as free download.

One way or another, you can't prevent MS from offering free AV - only question is, how is that software going to be distributed.
post #30 of 80
regarding antitrust...it's tricky, but i'd tend to lean towards microsoft on this issue. As far as browsers go - sorry netscape went out of business, but it's not like MS actively blocked people from downloading netscape. I mean, MOST people are unaware of the competitors options. Is it microsofts job to alert people to their competitors?? What other industry works that way? Same thing with AV software. The other options are out there if people want them.
post #31 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Shouldn't this be dubbed MORON?

That name has already been taken by msft users.
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #32 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

I have never used antivirus software on any of my Windows machines and they work just fine. I think that AV causes more problems than it solves (I can't tell you how many friends I've helped out by removing Norton from their machines after it screwed them up) and is definitely unnecessary these days.

XP, Vista and 7 are now rock solid and are very secure. AV is not needed.

You are a liar, or the luckiest man alive. Why would a happy MS user post on an apple site??

xp is ok but 8 yrs old.

Vista and 7 were 9 long years being producednad when they came out they sucked. Most p/c companies ship the old MS O/S on there boxes.

vista and window 7 are not rock solid .They just suck a little less than before .
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
whats in a name ? 
beatles
Reply
post #33 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

That name has already been taken by msft users.

meanwhile, most mac users truly believe that osx is impenetrable.
post #34 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

But can you find your files?

Don't provoke him - he can probably find your files, too.

That reminded me - only completely unsecured wireless network in my neighbourhood is conveniently called Apple Net. All others are using at least WEP, but most are on WPA2.

I really had to resist a temptation of downloading a few dozen gigabytes of porn through the poor guy's Internet connection and leave him "Thank you" note in shared folder (if any) - maybe a movie or two. Since most Internet plans in NZ are capped (with big money for every exceeded MB), his/her Mac experience could have ended up even more expensive.

At the end of the day, you don't need Morro to be a moron...
post #35 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by thanx_al View Post

The same company that brought you Swiss Cheese OS is now writing code to protect the holes.

No worries for AV companies. If MS AV software is nearly as good as their OS a huge quaternary market will emerge. Imagine "Get Norton Anti-Virus for Swiss Cheese 7's Anti-Virus for $39.99".

Users? Screwed as usual. I now completely unplug my iMac from the net when Bootcamping into Swiss Cheese.

Ah. But you still enjoy your Swiss cheese every now and then, eh? Cheese just doesn't taste that good without holes.
post #36 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracker View Post

Yeah but they were bundling IE with the OS which was the problem.

If they included Netscape and others and gave users a choice I don't think that would have been a problem or maybe they included a way for users after installing to choose between IE and others that would have been ok aslo but they integrated IE to leverage it's adoption.

The problem wasn't that it was bundled with the OS, the problem was that it became the OS and you could not uninstall it for another option.
post #37 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

I have never used antivirus software on any of my Windows machines and they work just fine. I think that AV causes more problems than it solves (I can't tell you how many friends I've helped out by removing Norton from their machines after it screwed them up) and is definitely unnecessary these days.

XP, Vista and 7 are now rock solid and are very secure. AV is not needed.

Of course you don't need anti-virus software when your Windows PC's are not connected to the internet. But your comment is so full of shit you just made it up to see the responses.
post #38 of 80
"markets where the growth of new PC purchases is outpaced only by the growth of malware"

I wonder when the Mac will come close to Windows in THAT measurement

(Someone will now post that Mac users think OS X is perfect--which nobody thinks--and say that you need to install antivirus software BEFORE any viruses exist or you are being rude and arrogant to Windows users... or something. As for me, I'm going to install it WHEN they exist I keep waiting, but the news will make headlines if it happens--as several false alarms already have--so I won't fail to notice.)
post #39 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post

i've been out of the Windows-world for several years now, but i've always assumed the key to avoiding viruses was safe browsing / email practices. I don't visit strange websites or open strange emails. Most older folk aren't as adept at knowing where the risks are and are thus more susceptible to attack.

My parents aren't all that old and aren't exactly computer novices, they've been using them since 1986 and know what they're doing. It helps to be savvy, but it's not always enough.
post #40 of 80
I can see what might happen here. Microsoft provides a "stripped-down" (in other words, non-functional) anti-malware solution, and places it so that, like Internet Explorer, the 99.9% of people who don't know any better use it (and only it) because "it's what came with my computer", or, if for some reason Microsoft doesn't decree that it be bundled on all new PCs, because "it's from the guys who did Windows — they must know how to do it right". Because it does nothing, Windows PCs proceed to be infected en masse, destroying Microsoft's reputation for having any ability to "make" (ha) security software, publicly highlighting the absence of security in all their other endeavours in a twisted version of the "halo effect". I like how this turns out for the legitimate platforms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

And BTW, Mac's aren't immune to attacks. They are stronger, definitely, but not immune. Your time will come too.

Yes; Macs are susceptible to social attacks that persuade users to bypass existing security measures. No device created by the human species will ever be immune to that, because the device isn't where the insecurity lies. I lol'd at your little "someday you'll get what you deserve, you smug bastards! Somedaaaaaaayyy!" thing at the end there, though, nice touch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post

i've been out of the Windows-world for several years now, but i've always assumed the key to avoiding viruses was safe browsing / email practices. I don't visit strange websites or open strange emails. Most older folk aren't as adept at knowing where the risks are and are thus more susceptible to attack.

I've been off Windows for a long time, too, but my impression is that avoiding shady websites and emails only cuts off the more obvious avenues of attack, and that there's more or less nothing you can do to assure yourself 100% short of permanently isolating that machine from the outside world in every way. And never turning it on for good measure. And then getting a Mac so you can still get some work done in the meantime.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Microsoft announces free anti-virus service for Windows