Microsoft To Offer Free Anti-Virus…. But Should You Get It?

Imagine my surprise when I saw this Reuters story on Microsoft getting ready to launch a free anti-virus product:

A Microsoft spokesman said on Wednesday that the world’s biggest software maker is testing an early version of the product with its own employees. Microsoft would “soon” make a trial version, or product beta, available via its website, he added, but declined to provide a specific date.

So, what will this product do? Here’s what’s known about Morro (named after Brazil’s Morro de Sao Paolo beach):

Microsoft has said that Morro will offer basic features for fighting a wide range of viruses, which would likely make it comparable to low-end consumer products from Symantec and McAfee that cost about $40 per year.

Okay. So my first thought is what makes it different than the free version of AVG which does basically the same thing? So far I’m not impressed, but then we’re talking about a product that doesn’t exist yet. So that may not be a fair statement to make. However, it seems that others aren’t impressed either:

“Microsoft’s free product is basically a stripped down version of the OneCare product Microsoft pulled from the shelves,” said Symantec Consumer division president Janice Chaffin. “A full Internet security suite is what consumers require today to stay fully protected.”

Joris Evers, a spokesman for No. 2 security software maker McAfee, said his company is already enjoying strong growth despite competition from free anti-virus products that are on the market.

“On a level playing field, we are confident in our ability to compete with anyone who might enter the marketplace,” he said.

So, the $64 question is should you get it when it comes out?  If you’re using nothing whatsoever, then using Morro would be an improvement. If you’re using some other product (free or not) then I don’t really see a reason to switch to this as long as whatever you’re using works for you.

Expect a beta to appear “soon” and a release version to appear sometime after that.

One Response to “Microsoft To Offer Free Anti-Virus…. But Should You Get It?”

  1. Do not forget, Microsoft did this before, remember MS Anti-virus? Just a scaled down version of Norton at the time.

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