I have always strongly maintained that any security related software; whether it be anti-virus, spyware or malware protection, should be a core part of any operating system. Much of the core components like the Windows Kernel32 has always had a weak spot in that it had to provide hooks to allow third party vendor access into this core so their products could work. This is why there was such a stink raised before Vista was release. At that point Microsoft wanted to totally lock down the Kernel from any outside access through PatchGuard.
The problem is that security venders got their panties in a bunch and started issuing threats of the DoJ and in the end Microsoft backdown. At the time I said this was a bad idea and that Microsoft was fully within their rights to be able to do this. In the end the security vendors one and the Kernel opened up once more.
I still think that any protection of the the operating systems; and by extension our own files, should be the responsibility of the OS manufacturer not some 3rd party who has a vested interest in virus and malware proliferation. Now to its credit Microsoft did come out with its own security suite called OneCare and while it hasn't always been the best on the market they still made the product available under some pretty reasonable grounds - one licensed product could be used on up to three computer.
Word comes out today though that as of mid 2009 OneCare will be phased out in favour of a new product currently code namedMorro and will be available to consumers at no cost. Not much more about feature set or exact release date is being said right now.
This move has caught many Windows watchers off guard as many were under the understanding that work on v3.0 OneCare was still underway. As Chris over at LiveSide points out
This move comes as somewhat of a surprise, with talk about OneCare 3.0 being currently in development. Hell we may have even caught a sneak peek. Given the lack of press around this as its breaking, this was clearly not one of those stories under embargo, so it'll be interesting to see what coverage this gets over the next few daysThe other thing I find interesting is the proposed timetable for it release being right around the time many Windows pundit are suggesting that Windows 7 will be released to the public. This is something that Ed Bott made note of as well today
The timing suggests that it could be available with the launch of Windows 7.One thing you can be sure of though - there is going to be a lot of pissy attitudes coming out of the security software manufacturers corner in the days to come following this announcement.