Microsoft: We Promise Not To Kill McAfee, Symantec (MSFT)

When Microsoft (MSFT) announced it was abandoning its unsucessful $50 “Windows Live OneCare” in favour of a new, free security suite named “Morro,” we wondered how companies like McAfee (MFE) or Symantec (SYMC) would be able to compete against a free product.

But Microsoft is promising it’s not trying to wipe out the security software firms. Morro, by design, won’t offer nearly as much protection as McAfee’s or Symantec’s services.

Reuters: Microsoft Corp’s upcoming security software is not designed to take sales from Symantec Corp and McAfee Inc as it is a stripped-down, free product that focuses purely on anti-virus protection, a Microsoft executive said…

“This is really focused on the 50 to 60 per cent (of PC users) who don’t have, or won’t pay for, anti-virus protection, anti-malware protection,” Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management for Microsoft’s Online Services and Windows Division, told Reuters in an interview.

Microsoft’s new product, code-named Morro after Brazil’s Morro de Sao Paolo beach, only includes anti-malware software, whereas security suites from Symantec and McAfee include encryption, firewalls, password protection, parental controls and data backup programs.

Extra security is always a good thing, but this seems an odd position for Microsoft to take — encouraging other firms to tout how much extra protection they can provide over and above what Microsoft offers. Wasn’t security one of Microsoft’s selling points for Vista? And the reason to suffer through Vista’s endless security pop-ups?

See Also: Microsoft Makes Security Software Free, Symantec and McAfee Screwed

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