updated 09:35 am EDT, Thu June 11, 2009
MS Antivirus Launches Soon
Microsoft late Wednesday said it's nearing the release of its first self-made antivirus software. Although mentioned in the past under its Morro codename, the new software is now known to compete directly with software from Kaspersky, McAfee, Symantec and other relatively low-cost apps. It will only focus on removing spyware, trojans and viruses as the company already has a built-in firewall for Windows.
The software is already in company-level testing and should be made available soon as a public beta in the near future. As before, it should remain free while its paid competitors typically charge $40 per year to maintain active updates.
Microsoft has already offered antivirus protection through its defunct OneCare suite but charged a yearly fee, putting it on the same level as most of its competitors. The finished version of Morro may raise antitrust concerns as Microsoft can not only afford to undercut competitors but has privileged access to Windows' source code, potentially giving it an edge in detecting or removing malware.