Microsoft's free Security Essentials software goes live

By on September 29, 2009, 10:56 AM
Following a year-long development phase and several months in limited public beta, Microsoft has finally released the full version of its anti-malware scanner today -- Microsoft Security Essentials. Formerly codenamed Morro, this free-of-charge replacement for OneCare is designed to provide consumers with real-time protection against Trojans, computer viruses, spyware and rootkits.

Although it lacks the personal firewall, backup and PC tuning features found in its late sibling, Security Essentials has fared quite well against similar suites in tests conducted by PC World, and at the very least it will help Microsoft get a larger percentage of the Windows ecosystem protected by security software.

Its interface has been made very simple for users of all backgrounds, with only four main tabs to choose from, whereas more experienced users will still be able to customize their choice of protection. Looking to placate concerns about resource hogging and nagging, Microsoft promises Security Essentials is designed to run quietly in the background, alerting the user only when there is an action for them to take.

Also, in addition to taking advantage of daily signature downloads, the software is reportedly able to validate suspicious files against newly identified malware in near-real time by querying the 'Dynamic Signature Service'. Overall, it looks like Security Essentials has a lot going for it and could turn out to be a real contender in the free antivirus arena. If you are interested in giving it a try, XP, Vista and Windows 7 versions of the software can be downloaded here -- the only restriction on use is that it has to be installed on a "genuine" Windows PC.

User Comments: 5

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Guest said:

Nice to see another option for free security apps, but there seems to be too much hype around this product, most people on forums say it's the best antivirus ever and if i recall correctly, it uses the same engine as One Core, which ranked behind products like Avast, Avira, Bitdefender and F-Secure among others in the latest avcomparatives test.

I'll stick with Avira until i see some serious and independent testing on this software.

RebelFlag said:

I have been using this since it was in beta both at home and at work, and have had no issues with it at all. Granted I am pretty cautious about what I install on my computers and the locations I surf on the web. It is missing a few features which would be nice to have, being able to view the scan history for example, but as a free app with daily updates, I have found it to be a good program, and reliable virus/malware protection app.

JDoors JDoors said:

Liked what I saw, installed it, liked it even more, cancelled the big-name security subscription I've had, like, forever.

(Oh God, I'm depending on MS not to mess this up ...)

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I have 70 days left on my OneCare trial, then I'll switch.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have been using for over a month now and am very happy with MS on this one. Very clean product without the blot and annoyance of any of the other "free" virus protection Aps i have used. I prefer this even to any of the paid apps that i have used as well. This will be the last year i buy updated licenses for the network i manage for Norton. I will be switching all the computers to this great software!

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