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Microsoft Launches Beta of Free Antivirus

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Microsoft has released a beta version of Microsoft Security Essentials, the company’s latest attempt at producing an antivirus software package.

The company pushed out the beta of Microsoft Security Essentials yesterday, making the software available to users in the United States, Israel (English only), People's Republic of China (Simplified Chinese only) and Brazil (Brazilian Portuguese only).

Originally codenamed Morro, Microsoft says the software will provide protection from from viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans for users running Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. InformationWeek describes MSE as essentially the anti-malware component of Microsoft's subscription security service, Windows Live OneCare, without the utility applications and the $50 annual fee. Microsoft announced in November that it would discontinue OneCare Live in order to focus on a product that would better serve consumers.

A full release of the software is scheduled for the fall, around the time Windows 7 goes to retail. No word on whether or not Microsoft will be poking the anticompetitive bear by bundling Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 7. Until then, anyone planning on trying out the beta? Let us know!

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  • 0 Hide
    coopchennick , June 24, 2009 3:03 PM
    I remember someone saying Microsoft's last antivirus program was very good on resources so I'll give it a try.
  • 2 Hide
    mtyermom , June 24, 2009 3:30 PM
    I went to download this MSE beta and was met with this message:

    Alert!

    Thank you for your interest in joining the Microsoft® Security Essentials Beta. We are not accepting additional participants at this time. Please check back at later a date for possible additional availability.


    They only allowed the first 75,000 people to download it.
    So this is a heads up to anyone else who is interested in downloading and trying this software: you will have to get it somewhere other than microsoft's servers. I found several sources with minimal effort.
  • 1 Hide
    gaevs , June 24, 2009 4:39 PM
    I'm testing it, 32 and 64 bits and i can confirm that works well, and it's fast.., low on resources.. well, it's eating 43Mb on my system, but no more that 20% CPU utilization at any given time.., faster than Panda.. almost equal to Avast Home, the 64bits works faster for me..
  • 0 Hide
    seboj , June 24, 2009 5:10 PM
    I'll try it out. Recently somebody compared Morro with other big-name AV programs, and it came out either on top, or close to the top. Worth a look anyways.
  • 0 Hide
    scook9 , June 24, 2009 5:11 PM
    Is it really about speed though or how well it protects you. My preference would to be to not have to doubt my AV program. Also, will this be able to detect as well as effectively remove viruses and other threats?

    I'll wait for some reviews since I get Symantec Endpoint for free as it is.
  • 4 Hide
    apmyhr , June 24, 2009 5:14 PM
    I signed up for it in time to download it. I'm using it with 64bit Win 7 RC. I was amazed to find that the download file was less than 4MB. The thing installed in short time and didn't even require a restart. I ran a scan and it seemed to take less than a minute (I don't have too much on my computer right now), and I didn't notice any performance hit at all. Granted I wasn't running a game at the same time. So basically, the utility is free, small, fast, and very low resource cost. I'm curios to see how security benchmarks rate its effectiveness.
  • 0 Hide
    st430 , June 24, 2009 8:56 PM
    bye bye norton the memory and cpu killer.
    bye bye one care since I don't have to pay no more.
  • -4 Hide
    xyz001 , June 24, 2009 10:51 PM
    i dont use anti virus programs and i dont get virus. Bottom line is you dont get virus if you dont do something actively to get it. (like clicking "yes" to dialogs from shady sites, or viewing chain letter ppt files your friends are sending you.

    i have yet to see a virus that infects your pc by just browsing to a webpage with firefox, or receiving a mail.

    Having an antivirus program is like having a virus.

  • 2 Hide
    benaus , June 25, 2009 4:21 AM
    @ xyz001
    You can still get viruses, even from websites you know and love that have been infected. Those popups you receive could very well be infections themselves that reside on your system to annoy you.

    Download MalwareBytes, install it, update it and then run it in Safe Mode. You might be surprised.
  • 0 Hide
    kelfen , June 25, 2009 7:16 AM
    It's worth a a shot to try;
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , June 25, 2009 4:14 PM
    @xyz001 and benaus

    Hell, you can even catch a virus by simply being pluggeg to the net! Remember the "blaster" virus? Back then it took about 5 minutes to catch it on a fresh Windows XP (pre-SP2) install without an antivirus. Just plug it in and wait for the "Your computer will shut down in 60 seconds" message. I know these days are over but still, I think we all learned a lesson from that: never go without an antivirus.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 25, 2009 4:32 PM
    Who's going to trust Microsoft to protect itself?

    I'm sorry, but this makes me cry "Foul!"

    If Microsoft was serious about security, it would fix the gaping security holes that exist in their operating systems. Don't tell me they don't have the resources... Don't tell me they don't have examples of what good security is all about. This is nothing more than a stunt that will probably end up either: 1) completely useless (see Windows Defender), or 2) plagued by the same anti-trust woes of IE (only this time they're fighting against companies with money, instead of open source browser solutions).
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , June 26, 2009 6:07 AM
    coopchennickI remember someone saying Microsoft's last antivirus program was very good on resources so I'll give it a try.


    Windows Live One Care is. I have it and it uses very little in resources compared to Norton, McCrappy and the such.

    It also has kept both my XP machine and Vista machine virus/trojan/worm free for 1.5 years. If anything tries to get on it catches it right away but never seems like its scanning in the background.

    This will probably use less resources due to not having the extra stuff such as the defrag, backup and so on so it will use less memory while running.

    And coolest thing is it has Windows Defender built in which was one of the best anti-spy/malware programs I have used to date

    scook9Is it really about speed though or how well it protects you. My preference would to be to not have to doubt my AV program. Also, will this be able to detect as well as effectively remove viruses and other threats?I'll wait for some reviews since I get Symantec Endpoint for free as it is.


    Yes it will be able to. Its the same as Live One Care just the anti spyware and such. I use it and my fiance does some weird things trying to create a server for a game and it even finds trojans right away.
  • 0 Hide
    xyz001 , June 27, 2009 12:22 AM
    @benaus

    But i have not had protection for more than two years now. And i use both torrents, and surf around several hours a day. I do a regular install of a free antivirus like AVG out of curiosity, but it finds nothing so i de-install.

    if someone has a link to a page that comes with a virus, without having to accept some dialog first, i'm willing to try it!