In addition to squashing fake antivirus software, Microsoft has announced that it is preparing to show its anticipated free AV service, Morro. The software will compete with Symantec and McAfee products and will be free for Windows users. Although investors and analysts see it as a long-term threat, officials at the two antivirus makers do not fear Morro.

After failing to deliver with OneCare, I have to wonder how Morro will fare. The announcement is attributed with contributing to a recent .5% and 1.3% drop in Symantec and McAfee shares. All the while, Microsoft's stock has risen 2.1%. Precisely how much insight that provides in terms of Morro's potential success is certainly open to interpretation.

Redmond's latest attempt at sweeping up the antivirus market should begin by the end of the year. It's no secret that Microsoft has earned a monopolistic aura and is frequently slammed with antitrust suits. That said, I can't help but question whether or not AV companies will eventually react similarly to those which attacked Microsoft over Internet Explorer.