Last week news hit the wire that Microsoft was planning on launching its own antivirus software in the immediate future. The company announced yesterday that we’ll see a beta of the software this coming Tuesday.
Formerly known as Morro, Microsoft Security Essentials endeavors to protect the end-user from various types of malicious software, including trojans, spyware, viruses and even rootkits. Once the final version launches, Microsoft will completely discontinue OneCare, the company’s current security software that it released three years ago.
CNet reports that the software will run on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, will be available in the U.S., Brazil, and Israel in English and Brazilian Portuguese, adding that a public beta version for Simplified Chinese will be available later in the year. Alan Packer, general manager of Microsoft's Anti-Malware team, told the site in an interview that the company doesn't see the software as a direct competitor for other free products. "We don't see Security Essentials as a direct competitor to other free products and suites," said Packer. "We're targeting people who aren't protected" already.
Both Symantec and McAfee seem unfazed by Microsoft's free protection, and even referred back to OneCare. Janice Chaffin, Symantec's Consumer division president, said that Morro is basically a stripped down version of OneCare. "A full Internet security suite is what consumers require today to stay fully protected," she told Reuters when news of the software broke last week. McAfee is remaining confident in its ability to compete with "anyone who might enter the marketplace."
What kind of antivirus do you run, and would you be willing to give Microsoft Security Essentials a shot? Let us know in the comments below!