Microsoft is set to roll out of its free antimalware service, Microsoft Security Essentials, which is scheduled to go live in beta on Tuesday.
Microsoft Security Essentials, previously known by the project name Morro, will replace Windows Live OneCare, which included both security and utility services for $49.95 per year.
Morro is a free service that will offer comprehensive antimalware to combat viruses, Trojans, Internet worms, botnets and spyware. A full version of the service will be released later this year.
The service is set protect users' PCs on XP and Vista and the software-giant said it will give an extra boost to the impending release of Windows 7, which will be available in October.
In a statement Thursday, antivirus software maker Symantec objected to Microsoft's description of Security Essentials.
Referring to Microsoft's basic antivirus and antispyware product as an essential security solution is misleading, said Dave Cole, a senior director at Symantec. He said PC users need the extra firewall protection, spam fighters and other features that come with subscription security programs.
The freeware space is crowded and Microsoft is just joining the fray, Cole said.