Microsoft have decided to offer a free anti-virus and security solution from the middle of next year.
In June 2009, Microsoft will stop selling OneCare, its all-in-one security and anti-virus service, and replace it with a free service called Morro.
Morro, designed for low-end computers with a no-frills interface, will be free to download and will support Windows XP, Vista and the upcoming Windows 7.
The announcement comes as Microsoft struggle to gain ground against offerings from Symantec and McAfee. Since 2006, OneCare has 2% of the security software market share.
Using a system that requires less resources, and the ability to download it free, should boost its market share, particular of owners of the new “netbook” computers.
Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management in the online services division at Microsoft said the growth of new PC purchases is only outpaced by the growth of malware.
“This new, no-cost offering will give us the ability to protect an even greater number of consumers,” said Barzdukas.