back to article MS kills off OneCare to introduce free security software

Microsoft has abandoned its attempt to make money from selling anti-virus software to consumers, two years after entering the cut-throat market. The Windows Live OneCare consumer security service will be discontinued from the end of June next year in favour of a free consumer product, codenamed Morro, currently under …


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  1. Roger Varley


    Why can Microsoft never hit their release schedules. This was originally set for 1st April 2008

  2. Cthonus
    Thumb Down

    I virus, She viruses. They do not virii

    The pural of virus is viruses. Virii is a made-up word.

    To quote the Urban Dictionary: "Virii is in fact an INCORRECT pluralization of "virus", however, some retard keeps resubmitting it as the plural form."

    Two major spelling errors today. Good show.

  3. Chris G

    How about this?

    When Windows' next OS is due ( theoretically ) in 2010 it should have built in security , obviating the need for external programs to protect against Virii, Trojans et al .Of course if experience is anything to go by it will never work .

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I for one...

    ..will miss microsoft <french accent>onecare</french accent>, not that I've ever used it....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The plural of virus is viruses

    unless you are a spotty adolescent.


  6. Fred


    Microsoft Wanker, the most appropriate name ever.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Can't post anything meaningful as I'm still lauging, I'll try later

  8. Simon B

    This was what made me shift to firefox

    It was this that made me shift to Firefox, the cheek of Microsoft making us pay for there security issues and holes made me blow a gasket and I stopped using IE. Firefox has proven a good move and I have never looked back!

  9. Eric Van Haesendonck
    Thumb Down

    Lame attempt to compete with linux

    This is just a lame attempt to compete with Linux on the low-end segment.

    One of the big cost advantages of Linux over Windows is that you don't really need an antivirus, so you don't need to pay a yearly fee to an antivirus provider. If this fee is not too significant compared to the cost of a $1000 PC, it is a major part of the cost of a $350 netbook or desktop.

    With this Microsoft will try to convince consumers that they don't need to pay for virus and malware protection on Windows either, while still selling an insecure OS.

  10. Inachu
    Dead Vulture

    One software package is never a complete soloution

    Never put 100% faith that only one software package can clean your system from an infection.

    As of late I had to use 5 different software packages to make sure it was truly clean virus/malware/trojan free. But even then if you do not see the speed increase like it used to have then better to fdisk and reinstall the entire OS all over again.

  11. N

    Even if...

    It is free, I wouldnt trust or use it,

    To me, Microsoft means treat with an extremely long barge pole, where reliability & security are concerned

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows Defender?

    Is this just a version of Windows Defender that also scans for viruses?

    @Chris G

    That would be a very easy version of Windows to make. You just shutdown the computer as soon as you turn it on.

    It's impossible to protect an operating system from malware without affecting legitimate software as well. You can patch the holes that allow software to enter without the user's consent (this vector is made more difficult by UAC in Vista), but you can't stop a user running a random program that they just bought.

    You could stop unsigned software from running, but this would mean that no legacy software would run (which may be something that Apple are happy to do, but most users prefer to be able to run the game five years ago).

    Maybe we could also create a version of Linux that has no security holes whatsoever and compeletely stopes malware from running? But that would be impossible.

  13. M
    Thumb Down

    May be market better if they called it....

    ...."who cares!"

    Bah to bad rubbish from M$....

  14. Thought About IT

    Resource hog

    Either OneCare was using my computer, or I was, so it had to go. Mind you, most of the commercial AV products have a worse effect on PCs than the problem they purport to fix.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid name

    OneCare was a hilarious name, but Morro is just plain daft because it doesn't tell you anything about the product.

    I know there are those who would slam MS for this, but then there are those who would slam MS for anything. I think that malware is a part of the internet landscape these days that decent anti malware software should be part of any OS.

    And before all the Linux, Apple and other users get all smug, there is malware out there for other OSs, but not much. The amount of MS targetted malware has nothing to do with the vulnerability of the OS and everything to do with the popularity of Windows. If you want your malware to cause the maximum damage you target it at the majority of machines. Furthermore eejits tend to have Windows because it's what comes with most users computers you buy from Currys, Argos, Asda, PC World etc. and eejits are the best targets for malware. They are the ones who are going to open attachments and click on internet links without thinking.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @By Thought About IT

    Not an MS troll - I have Vista Ultimate x64 with Onecare - I tried trial versions of nearly all the major AV vendors, and Onecare was the least resource intensive, which is why i paid for the service that covered three PC's - works great on my mom-in-laws 512MB 1GHz athlon too, covered by the same license.

    Like all SW, could've been improved and it had some annoying features, but it worked for me.

    * Getting me coat and leaving, cuz I'm gonna get my ass flamed into Purgatory...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not moving

    to Morro

    Actually, MS fucked up royally - I never knew OneCare was antivirus.

    And El Reg is not the Daily Mail - you should tolerate a few spoling mistaks.

  18. Andrew Barratt

    Shame they didnt pump the money into fixing the holes

    So M$ have wasted a load of money on the OneCare product, that could have been targetted at fixing holes in XP / Vista.


  19. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    The real problem

    M$ has been trying to spoil the party for AV makers since that little embarrassing incident of piracy they were accused of back in the land of DOS.

    M$ should join the rest oft the civilized world and shell on top of a UN*X, on a Linux or something like that. It would go a very long way to address much of the criticism of both Windows and Microsoft and would give Microsoft that geek shine that they have not had since 95.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is a sign of pseudo-intellectualism.

    If Virus were a Latin second declension noun, its plural would be viri, with a single 'i'. "virii" could only be the plural of *virius, which doesn't exist.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Quote "and Onecare was the least resource intensive". Erm actually it's your OS that's the resource hog, you know, the one that's going to have lipstick put on it and be called W7. Ah and I've just noticed you actually paid for vista ultimate, can I introduce you to a Nigerian friends of mine that would like to offer you a once in a lifetime business opportunity, If you call Lagos 9090909 and ask for Mr Munigi Trollo he will make you a very wealthy person.

  22. Dick Emery

    Online scanner

    The OneCare free online scanner has saved my butt a couple of times. Probably why it failed. Why provide the free online scanner and try to sell you something else?

    Kaspersky offers an online scanning service but does not fix all the problems it finds. They want to sell you the software. MS gave it all away for free so nobody needed the software.

  23. b166er

    will it mark

    user32.dll as a trojan?

    It's gotta be better than all these retail outlets installing that Norton 360 egoware.

  24. John O'Hare


    "As of late I had to use 5 different software packages to make sure it was truly clean virus/malware/trojan free."

    The only thing that springs to my mind is OMFG.

    <tinfoil hat>

    Either Microsoft's software must be some alien conspiracy to hamper humankind's technological progress or it's just plain human blind greed and lack of standards.

    </tinfoil hat>

    Don't know which would be worse...

  25. Adrian Esdaile

    Every time I think 'Antivirus' I think in dodgy Italian...

    Is it just me, or does the whole anti-virus industry smell a whole like fire-insurance scams?

    "Nice PC you gots here, mister, be SHAME to catch a virus!"

    Good on MS for providing AV for free; I hope they can keep it up to date to make it useful. Onecare really was pretty good, Symantec has only recently got a system that is not a total resource hog.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but won't that lead to...

    what happens if microsoft does make a good job of this (they are overdue)

    Will we see a repeat of the WMC incident, with Symantec et al trying to force microsoft not to give away free & built-in exactly what they're trying to peddle?

  27. Robert E A Harvey

    Or they could just fix it

    The alternative would be to make an OS that is secure, of course.

  28. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Won't trust any MS-sponsored security product

    My memories on the how and when are shady, but if I recall properly Microsoft was trying to get user approval of its newest security thingamajig with a user beta.

    I had installed the beta, and was not disappointed with it. As has been said elsewhere, one security product is never enough - although I won't go up to five, another free checker is generally a good thing for the market.

    Then one thing happened that I will never forget : Microsoft acquired this shady company whose product was listed as a critical security risk in the beta - and in less than a week that company's product risk rating was elevated from Critical to something like Mildly Offensive.

    Sorry, Microsoft, but that is NOT how you do security.

    Conflict of interest and marketing concerns do not a security product make.

    In my mind, that is the one point that buried OneCare for all eternity.

    Because of that, I will never be able to trust OneCare or any other Microsoft offering concerning security.

  29. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    What I find funny....

    Is that anyone would ever take MS seriously in the AV/Security Software market.

    Come on.... What's it protecting against 99% of the time? That's right. The gaping holes MS let slip by anyway.

    Seems they'd be better off just employing some security experts to check their working in the OS to start with.

  30. Joe Montana

    Market domination

    MS capturing the anti-malware market and putting other companies out of business would be the best possible outcome, for authors of malware...

    Currently a malware author has to test his malware against multiple vendors products to ensure it's not detected, and has to configure his malware to neuter multiple products that may be installed.

    If MS dominate this market, then the malware author only needs to test against one product, and can have their malware hijack the av product and make it look like it's working when it really isn't.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @AC re: Stupid name

    Anonymous Coward said, "And before all the Linux, Apple and other users get all smug, there is malware out there for other OSs, but not much. The amount of MS targetted malware has nothing to do with the vulnerability of the OS and everything to do with the popularity of Windows."

    What a load of bollocks. Of course the popularity of Windows is a factor, because malware writers want to achieve maximum exposure, however, to say that this is the one and only reason is complete pish.

    *nix-based OSes have had a massive advantage over Microsoft's offering for many years, because even if you could get someone to run your code, you couldn't easily elevate your privilege, whereas essentially all Windows users in a non-corporate environment (and a large proportion of those in a corporate environment too!) are running under an administrative context. Microsoft finally cottoned-on to this fact and implemented UAC, but it's just a shame that they've implemented it in such a cock-handed way that leads to people to disable the damn thing.

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