Back in November, Microsoft announced plans to kill its Windows Live OneCare subscription-based security suite and replace it with a free antimalware solution; codenamed Morro. The software giant only said at that time that the new offering would be available in the second half of 2009, but it appears some testers are already taking it for a spin, and Neowin has managed to obtain some screenshots of the upcoming suite.
The leaked screenshots show an interface somewhat similar to Windows Defender, offering the typical variety of options such as quick, full and custom scans, as well as virus and spyware definition downloads and scheduled scan settings. Theres not much more we can infer with regard to the softwares functionality from these shots, but ZDNet is reporting that Morro will be almost entirely cloud-based, although exactly how that would work remains unknown.
Morro is expected to provide simple anti-malware features and compete with similar free products from other providers. Although it will likely debut in its final form around the same time Windows 7 launches, it should be available as a separate download to avoid anti-trust concerns, and will also work with Windows Vista and XP.