Microsoft’s “Morro” not to compete with rivals Symantec and McAfee

MicrosoftDespite its announced plans to discontinue sales of its subscription-based security service, Microsoft said that it will not compete with security companies like Symantec Corp and McAfee Inc. Rather, the free product would focus purely on anti-virus protection, thereby offering free security software for users to download.

The download, being called "Morro" by the company, is designed to defend PCs of consumers against 'malware', such as viruses, spyware and Trojans. 'Malware' is in fact a term derived from the words malicious and software, designed by hackers to attack personal computers.

Meanwhile, Symantec, McAfee and other large security companies offer comprehensive suites and high-end point products that include an array of security features such as encryption, data loss prevention, firewalls and parental controls.

In an interview with Reuters, Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management for Microsoft's Online Services and Windows Division, said about the download: "This is really focused on the 50 to 60 percent of PC users who don't have, or won't pay for, anti-virus protection, anti-malware protection." Barzdukas added that although "Morro" - named after Brazil's Morro de Sao Paolo beach - will be offered around the world, one focus will be on emerging markets such as Brazil where a large number of consumers cannot afford to buy anti-virus suites.

However, some security companies still maintain that Microsoft's announcement is a sign of capitulation, and an attempt to edge into a market dominated by established security vendors. Talking about Microsoft's consumer online security solution 'OneCare', McAfee said that it captured less than 2 percent of the market since it was released two years ago.

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