Right on schedule...
In November Microsoft announced its plans to make free antivirus software and it seems the Redmond monolith is about to make good on its claims.
Reuters is reporting Microsoft will 'soon unveil' its free antivirus software which should not only send shockwaves through the industry but also infuriate its slew of long term antivirus partners *deep breath*: AhnLab, Aladdin, ALWIL, BullGuard, Cat, Computer Associates, Dialogue Scanner, Eset, F-Secure, Frisk, GFI, GriSoft, Hauri, Kaspersky, McAfee, MicroWorld, Norman, Panda, Proland, Sophos, Sybari, Symantec, Trend Micro, VirusBuster and Zero-Knowledge.
Few details are known about the Microsoft offering other than the codename - 'Morro' - but considering it built/acquired an antivirus suite from its previous OneCare offering it would seem that the new edition will be rooted in this. Obviously the monopolies commission will also be paying close attention and any attempt to bundle it with Windows 7 would surely go down like a lead balloon.
That said, the markets are responding. Reuters reports on the news Symantec shares fell 0.5 per cent on Nasdaq, McAfee dropped 1.3 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange and by contrast Microsoft was up 2.1 per cent.
Personally I'm still most excited about Panda Cloud but watch this space, things are about to get interesting...