Last November, MS announced its plans to create a no-cost consumer security software product. Code-named “Morro,” this solution is supposed to debut in H209 and be able to deal with viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans. It’s going to be low-footprint on the client side, and use Web-based services and scanning technologies to keep resource consumption and local file sizes small and zippy. Ultimately, Morro will replace Windows Live OneCare, and take over the low-end security role for the company.
Recently, lots of published accounts have mentioned that MS is now testing Morro internally in-house, and is preparing a public beta of the technology (see this ComputerWorld story, for example). This Reuters newswire story posted on Wednesday, June 10, indicates that this beta will be unleashed “soon.” Interestingly, stock values for both Symantec and McAfee dropped with this news, with investors guessing that those companies will lose (paying customer) market share in the face of an at least potentially credible free product. Well-known Windows maven Paul Thurrot is quoted in the ComputerWorld story as suggesting that news of the imminent beta was leaked prematurely, and that “…it wasn’t supposed to be today,” apparently confirming that “soon” means “not yet.”
When the product does make its appearance, even enterprise administrators might find it worthwhile for certain applications. Chief among these will be the new Windows XP Mode available in copies of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions. Even VMs need security software, and this could be just the ticket for sufficient coverage to keep those occasionally used virtual desktops safe and secure.