Morro - first thoughts

Discussion in 'Security and Anti-Virus Software' started by ATC, Jun 20, 2009.

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  1. ATC

    ATC Notebook Deity

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    Well, as I'm sure some of you might already know "Morro" A.K.A. Microsoft Security Essentials has started to leak all over the place. The beta doesn't officially drop till this Tuesday but I had the chance to install it tonight on one of my systems that's running 7 RC (32bit) and here are some first impressions.

    First, the install file is very small (4.74mb). And I was blown away that it installed in, get ready for this, in well under a minute. :eek:

    The install actually validates your copy of Windows to make sure it's Genuine but that process literally took 1-2 seconds to complete.

    It then runs an update which in my case too just under 2 minutes and after that it ran what it called a "Quick Scan" but I didn't think it was that quick; took just under 10 minutes to complete.

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    I originally thought that, like OneCare, Defender would be disabled upon installing this but it didn't and it doesn't look like they're conflicting. Security Status in 7 reports that both Windows Defender and "Microsoft Antimalware" are both active. It does however give a warning just underneath that two antispyware products can conflict with each other.

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    The interface is very clean and blends into the OS very well. Even though it appears very basic, they have quite a few advances settings available (I haven't run through them all yet).

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    The biggest surprise so far is how light this package appears to be. Based on the few hours I've had it running, it literally feels like nothing is running in the background and the system appears to be even more responsive that when I had Avira or ESET ESS 4 installed, which as many of you know they are very light on resources.

    Now let's hope the "lightness" doesn't translate into complete rubbish as far as effectiveness and detection rates are concerned.
     
  2. Baserk

    Baserk Notebook user

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    Thanks for posting!
    I'm also very curious about it's detection rate.
    OneCare had a rather decent pro-active detection score, so I expect MS to keep this up.
    Morro/MSE might just be an excellent future alternative for the current free AV's (and perhaps even paid-for software).
    Some folks are getting pretty nervous it seems about this move from Redmond;

    "Microsoft's free product is a slightly modified and stripped down version of the OneCare product it pulled from the shelves recently," says Dave Cole, senior director of product management for Symantec. "Consumers don't need less protection--they need more."

    "Referring to Microsoft's basic antivirus and antispyware product as an essential security solution is misleading," says Cole. "Consumers need firewall protection, Web protection, antispam and identity safeguards--these are among the essentials when it comes to security, and you can only get them through a full Internet security suite provided by security experts."

    Microsoft isn't going to change the dynamics of the consumer security industry, according to Cole. "The reality is that shareware and freeware vendors have been in the market for 20-plus years," he says. "The freeware space is crowded and Microsoft is just joining the fray. In addition, early reviews of the beta are showing that it underperforms when compared to existing freeware products, and well below paid solutions such as Norton AntiVirus."
    link

    Now wouldn't Dave Cole know that ever since XP SP2, a firewall is enabled by default? ;)

    McAfee is much more honest though, about it's thoughts on Morro/MSE;

    ...in its 10-Q report issued May 9, the security provider clearly voiced concern about Morro's impact: "Security protection is increasingly being offered by third parties at significant discounts to our prices or, in some cases is bundled for free. For example, Microsoft announced that beginning in 2009 it will offer in emerging markets a free anti-malware consumer product dubbed Morro."

    "The widespread inclusion of lower-priced or free products that perform the same or similar functions as our products within computer hardware or other companies' software products could reduce the perceived need for our products or render our products unmarketable--even if these incorporated products are inferior or more limited than our products," continues the report. "The expansion of these competitive trends could have a significant negative impact on our sales and financial results."


    Cheers.
     
  3. Shyster1

    Shyster1 Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Reading the 10-Q (or the 10-K) is a useful antidote to the too-optimistic pronouncements of the marketing dept, but I wouldn't take the 10-Q itself as a "realistic" assessment - those tend to be too-negative when it comes to discussing possible future risks to the business, largely to avoid strike suits for securities fraud when the stock price drops (for whatever reason, usu. unrelated to what was discussed in the 10-Q/K). Welcome to securities-speak.
     
  4. davepermen

    davepermen Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    I like it. Haven't tested it yet, but It's interesting.

    now lets wait for the anti-virus software vendors to hate microsoft for this :)
     
  5. zfactor

    zfactor Mastershake

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    uses the same engine from what experts seem to think as one care did but adds some sort of cloud technology. stephen from avira stated this on another forum. but i agree i really like the integration of it and the ram usage is very impressive between 4 and 8mb even during a scan is being reported.. im testing it against a few others this weekend with my malware samples i have nearly 2000+ samples stored on a machine for just that and i will see how it does against norton2009, eset, and kaspersky since those are what i have installed.
     
  6. ATC

    ATC Notebook Deity

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    Let us know how your samples fare against MSE. I have nothing to test it really except try to go onto some questionable sites.

    Anyhow, it's been almost 24 hours and the system's still very fast and responsive. Another positive is the use of the contextual menu (right click on a file/folder and scan with MSE) seems instant. As a point of reference, I used to do that with Avira, it would initialize the scan engine eating 3+ seconds and then start the actual scan. Not so with MSE, it's near instantaneous and the scan itself is very fast.

    Updates are coming through the main Windows Update process, briefly showing the Windows Update icon in the tray and no system slow-downs during, just some HD access.

    IMO, MSFT might do very well with this. Being free, fast and light will no doubt have at least a few people interested in using it (by few I mean millions) which in turn will increase its effectiveness (Spynet network). Besides, I'm sure they don't want it to have the same fate as OneCare, which in itself wasn't a total disaster.
     
  7. Angelic

    Angelic Kickin' back :3

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    I can't wait to see more users test this to see how well it holds up. Especially against Avira.:)
     
  8. DarkSilver

    DarkSilver MSI Afterburner

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    So, this is a freeware? If it is, I think I would download and install it after the official release.
    If this Morro is better than AVIRA(free) in terms of viruses & spywares database, detection rate and scanning rate, I won't hesitate to uninstall AVIRA(free).
     
  9. Cin'

    Cin' Anathema

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    This is very interesting..and informative :)
    Thanks so much for the information..could this be up against Avira?? ;)
    I may be checking this out!


    Cin ;) :)
     
  10. ATC

    ATC Notebook Deity

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    Yeah, it will be absolutely free for all but on one condition; you have to have a genuine Windows, which it verifies on install.

    It’ll take time before we know how effective it is or how detection rates will fare compared to, for example, Avira but it will only get better with time. The more users it has (the fact that it's a free MSFT product will help there a lot) the more effective it becomes (Spynet will take a new detected threat and push an update to all users almost immediately - at least that how it is in theory). And as zfactor said, it's based on OneCare's engine which was rated Advanced+ by AV Comparatives (May 2009) and has one of the lowest rates of FPs.

    OneCare’s problems were that it was bloated/slow, always in the user's face, nagging them and you had to pay for it. MSFT appears to have addressed all those issues with MSE. :)
     
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