Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Thoughts - Microsoft Morro

There has been a ton of buzz lately about Microsoft's announcement to (a) finally formally kill OneCare (which was a disaster) and (b) release a free anti-malware platform for the common user. Plenty of articles on it here, a good one here, and here so I won't repeat what others are saying and continue to whip a dead ghost-horse... but here are some of my thoughts on this topic.

  • What's Microsoft's ultimate goal? Microsoft always has an ulterior motive, let's face it. I know enough 'softies to know there really is no free lunch at Microsoft. Free always comes with a price tag that's to be paid in CPU cycles, proprietary software lock-in, or other means. So what's Microsoft up to? I think it's simple... they are trying to thwart Google's advance on the operating system market by slowly building out an entire ecosystem from base OS through malware protection and up the stack all the way through their Office productivity suite. Their ultimate goal then? Simple. Keep people using Microsoft's ecosystem of products to remove any possible foothold Google may have... but that's just my opinion.
  • Will it really be free? I'm thinking yes. As Microsoft continues to buy up companies and offer services for free (sound like an anti-Google campaign yet?) they inevitably will start to hit people where the hurt most. There was a great quote somewhere in the mountains of posts that I read on the topic that basically said Microsoft is going after not the enterprise space but after those people who buy a PC and can't afford to shell out the cash for AntiVirus/AntiMalware on a regular basis. These are the folks who will benefit from this zero-cost tool which will effectively keep their lovely Windows platform safe and secure from those pesky bad guys trying to steal their passwords on FaceBook... or not. The free model doesn't seem to make sense... until you realize that it's a small price Microsoft pays for Windows owner loyalty - maybe those idiotic Mac ads where Mac claims that only PCs get viruses and bugs is starting to hurt?
  • Will it be any good? I think it just might be. One of Microsoft's press releases hints focusing on a smaller footprint is important as people get more frustrated with anti-malware engines that suck up valuable CPU and memory resources... even Norton (I think?) has done this lately - weird huh? Focusing on giving people a usable, non-invasive service for free is quite frankly... novel. From Microsoft's release:
    Code-named “Morro,” this streamlined solution will be available in the second half of 2009 and will provide comprehensive protection from malware including viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans. This new solution, to be offered at no charge to consumers, will be architected for a smaller footprint that will use fewer computing resources, making it ideal for low-bandwidth scenarios or less powerful PCs. As part of Microsoft’s move to focus on this simplified offering, the company also announced today that it will discontinue retail sales of its Windows Live OneCare subscription service effective June 30, 2009.
I don't know about you readers... but I can't wait to get this into my sandbox! Currently I run Ubuntu 9.04 and VirtualBox with Windows 7 RC... and I can't wait to add Morro to this. I know people are ready to lay out the FUD and start to pick this offering apart... but I'm welcoming it. If Morro is on target like Windows 7 is... I may actually go back to dual-booting... *GASP!*

Love to hear your thoughts to my 3 questions above...

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