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I’ve always been a big fan of Windows Live OneCare for all my personal machines. That’s why I was surprised to hear that Microsoft Windows Live OneCare is going away in the 2009.

Fortunately the key piece I used it for is being replaced by Morro, basic protection from malware—including viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans.

Here’s some more detail on the announcement from Michael Cherry at Directions on Microsoft:

“In order to increase the number of Windows computers with basic protection from malware—including viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans—Microsoft will release a free antimalware product, code-named Morro, in the second half of 2009. Once Morro is generally available, Microsoft will discontinue Windows Live OneCare, its all-in-one solution for systems health management, performance improvement, data protection, and security. Morro could enhance overall security by making antimalware software more widely used. However, OEMs who ship OneCare will have to turn to suites from other providers, who may find that Morro eliminates demand for bare-bones antimalware products.

Promoting Free Antivirus

The planned Morro antivirus software will be free, but will not be included in the Windows OS. Design goals for Morro call for a smaller footprint that uses fewer computing resources, so that it will work over low bandwidth or with less powerful PCs. The free availability and low hardware requirements are particularly meant to increase malware protection in developing countries with high PC growth, such as Brazil, where Microsoft says many consumers lack a credit card or the resources to pay for antimalware software, and where the company says malware infestations are rampant.

Some Microsoft partners already offer free basic antimalware utilities, and others charge between US$20 and US$40 for an entry-level antimalware product. If Microsoft offers Morro for free from its download center or Windows Update, it could become widely used. Although this may mean that there could be fewer infected computers wreaking havoc on the Internet, it also means that some Microsoft partners that offer entry-level antimalware products may be forced to offer their entry-level products for free, or abandon the base-level product category in favor of suites combining a number of utilities, including antimalware, backup, disk imaging and defragmentation, Registry cleaning, and general PC health and monitoring capabilities, many of which OneCare included but that Morro will not.

OneCare, Equipt Discontinued

OneCare will continue to be sold at retail through June 30, 2009, and online sales from Microsoft will be phased out when Morro becomes available. The latest version of OneCare (version 2.5 was released in July 2008) provides virus and malware protection as well as remote management and centralized backup of PCs on home networks. The product also provides online backup of photos. OneCare is sold as a subscription at US$49.95 a year for up to three computers, with 10GB of online backup for an additional US$50 per year.

Windows Small Business Server 2008 includes a specialized edition of OneCare for protecting Windows Server 2008. This edition of OneCare will eventually be removed from Small Business Server. Microsoft Equipt, a solution that includes OneCare and subscription-based versions of several Office applications, will be removed from the retail channel in the first half of 2009.

Microsoft will ensure that all current OneCare customers remain protected through the life of their subscriptions—that is, new signature files will be available and serious bugs will be fixed, but no enhancements will be made. Microsoft also indicates that current online backup subscribers can continue to back up copies of photos using the Online Backup feature, although this feature might eventually be migrated to another service, such as Windows Live SkyDrive, which offers 25GB of free storage.

The Windows Live OneCare Team Blog, which contains more information about the decision to discontinue the product, is located at”

Thanks for checking out this post!


Murray Gordon
ISV Architect Evangelist
Microsoft Corporation 
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Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 4:00 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Morro to replace Live OneCare

# re: Morro to replace Live OneCare
Requesting Gravatar...
I am I big fan of Live One Care and i have to renew 6-13-09.
should I renew .
Left by Diran Babikian on Feb 01, 2009 12:17 PM

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