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Report: Microsoft's Free Antivirus on Tuesday

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 47 comments

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!

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    rooket , June 19, 2009 8:33 PM
    If they got rid of ActiveX, that'd probably solve a whole world of spyware issues.
  • 10 Hide
    cregan89 , June 19, 2009 8:55 PM
    orbitronI'm using Symantec's Norton Internet Security and I'm very happy with it. Why switch if you know OneCare already failed in the first place?


    OneCare didn't "fail". It just wasn't popular. Nobody ever actually tried it out. I used it as my antivirus solution and recommended it to all of my family and friends and customers (when I worked at a computer store). It was immensely less of a resource hog compared to Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky, I never ran into any updating or installation issues, which Norton is absolutely terrible for, and it was very quiet as well. Never popped up with any annoying update screens or registration screens or subscription warnings or anything. It performed everything silently in the background whenever your computer wasn't busy. It would only ever pop up if it found a virus and it popped up a monthly summary once a month to show you general stats about your computer. It also automatically cleaned out all of your temp files and sped up your system every week, last I heard Norton doesn't empty all of your temp files, could have changed not sure.

    I'm actually kind of disappointed Microsoft is discontinuing OneCare. It was a great product. But I just installed MSE and it is perfect. By far the lightest antivirus program today as far as system resources go. It's silent, automatic update and real time scanner, and it asks you to schedule an optional weekly scan. That's it. Zero annoyance. And it didn't slow my computers boot time by even a single second on Windows 7, and I actually timed it. I recommend you guys try it out. It's a great little antivirus, lighter than AVG and way less annoyance than AVG too.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    jerther , June 19, 2009 8:09 PM
    Release? woohoo!! uh... duh, just a beta... *sigh*
  • 0 Hide
    igot1forya , June 19, 2009 8:31 PM
    Will there me a MacOS version? :p 
  • 17 Hide
    rooket , June 19, 2009 8:33 PM
    If they got rid of ActiveX, that'd probably solve a whole world of spyware issues.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , June 19, 2009 8:34 PM
    I would be willing to give it a shot; assuming memory usage isn't too high, I would go so far as to recommend it to my clients. The way the big name security suites are chewing up so much in the way of resources, a smaller stripped down product might be just the ticket for the average home PC.
  • 0 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , June 19, 2009 8:44 PM
    I'm useing Avast home edition because its free and right up there with government Anti-virus software. :p 
  • 4 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , June 19, 2009 8:46 PM
    The title is quite misleading. Reminds me of betanews.
  • 2 Hide
    zaratustra06 , June 19, 2009 8:52 PM
    I'll stay with Avira's free Antivir.
  • 10 Hide
    cregan89 , June 19, 2009 8:55 PM
    orbitronI'm using Symantec's Norton Internet Security and I'm very happy with it. Why switch if you know OneCare already failed in the first place?


    OneCare didn't "fail". It just wasn't popular. Nobody ever actually tried it out. I used it as my antivirus solution and recommended it to all of my family and friends and customers (when I worked at a computer store). It was immensely less of a resource hog compared to Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky, I never ran into any updating or installation issues, which Norton is absolutely terrible for, and it was very quiet as well. Never popped up with any annoying update screens or registration screens or subscription warnings or anything. It performed everything silently in the background whenever your computer wasn't busy. It would only ever pop up if it found a virus and it popped up a monthly summary once a month to show you general stats about your computer. It also automatically cleaned out all of your temp files and sped up your system every week, last I heard Norton doesn't empty all of your temp files, could have changed not sure.

    I'm actually kind of disappointed Microsoft is discontinuing OneCare. It was a great product. But I just installed MSE and it is perfect. By far the lightest antivirus program today as far as system resources go. It's silent, automatic update and real time scanner, and it asks you to schedule an optional weekly scan. That's it. Zero annoyance. And it didn't slow my computers boot time by even a single second on Windows 7, and I actually timed it. I recommend you guys try it out. It's a great little antivirus, lighter than AVG and way less annoyance than AVG too.
  • 5 Hide
    deathblooms2k1 , June 19, 2009 9:00 PM
    I have huge issues with both Norton and McAfee when it comes to protecting the typical user who doesn't know much about computers. First and foremost they are huge resource hogs, a lot of times they come with all of the switches turned on and really bog down the users system. The problem here is that typically half of the switches are for very specific tasks that the user may not even be doing which is wasted resources.

    My next big beef with them is when the users subscription runs out for either of them they are screwed unless they renew it for a nice premium price. In some cases different features expire at different times which can be even more difficult of the typical user to understand.

    My policy is to install free AV that I know they will always be able to get updates for and to inform them about common dangers of the web such as emails from Grandma for a million $'s when we all know Grandma doesn't own a computer.

    The problem is people click on things they think are legit that infect their system. And its too bad that at the premium prices people play for AV suites they do not get any education on what to do and what not to do.

    I run very minimal protection on my home system and have no problems.
  • 3 Hide
    Wayoffbase , June 19, 2009 9:08 PM
    My eset nod32 subscription expires next month, so I might give this a shot. If it sucks, my usual standby for free AV these days is Avira.
  • 1 Hide
    ksenter , June 19, 2009 9:14 PM
    I use Nod32 and generally recommend it to other people, but I'd be willing to give this a shot just so I could see if it's worth recommending to people who aren't willing to pay for AV. I think it's great that MS is throwing another free AV product into the market. Hopefully if it works well enough they'll make it an automatic update for people with no AV at some point so we can get rid of some of these botnets that plague the internet. Of course if they do, I'm sure they'll get sued over it.
  • 1 Hide
    orbitron , June 19, 2009 9:16 PM
    cregan89OneCare didn't "fail". It just wasn't popular. Nobody ever actually tried it out. I used it as my antivirus solution and recommended it to all of my family and friends and customers (when I worked at a computer store). It was immensely less of a resource hog compared to Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky, I never ran into any updating or installation issues, which Norton is absolutely terrible for, and it was very quiet as well. Never popped up with any annoying update screens or registration screens or subscription warnings or anything. It performed everything silently in the background whenever your computer wasn't busy. It would only ever pop up if it found a virus and it popped up a monthly summary once a month to show you general stats about your computer. It also automatically cleaned out all of your temp files and sped up your system every week, last I heard Norton doesn't empty all of your temp files, could have changed not sure.I'm actually kind of disappointed Microsoft is discontinuing OneCare. It was a great product. But I just installed MSE and it is perfect. By far the lightest antivirus program today as far as system resources go. It's silent, automatic update and real time scanner, and it asks you to schedule an optional weekly scan. That's it. Zero annoyance. And it didn't slow my computers boot time by even a single second on Windows 7, and I actually timed it. I recommend you guys try it out. It's a great little antivirus, lighter than AVG and way less annoyance than AVG too.


    I'm using the 2009 version of Norton Internet Security. And they have improved it very well. The program is about 60.5MB installed. And its way faster than the older one. You won't even noticed its running in the background. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    bunz_of_steel , June 19, 2009 9:16 PM
    use Avast dude, I have used Inoculan/Mcaffee/symantec/nod32/kaspirsky/ etc... but Avast is the only one that really keeps system clean and low system resources. I hit ALOT of infected sites if ya know whatuh mean lol. It's not a heavyweight internet security suite but a lightweight applicaiton firewall with THE BEST AV I have run. Micro$oft well it's a first generation AV so they don't always get it right the first time out the gate. If M$ sticks with it they can and do come up with some good products.
  • 0 Hide
    tpi2007 , June 19, 2009 10:22 PM
    cregan89OneCare didn't "fail". It just wasn't popular. Nobody ever actually tried it out. I used it as my antivirus solution and recommended it to all of my family and friends and customers (when I worked at a computer store). It was immensely less of a resource hog compared to Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky, I never ran into any updating or installation issues, which Norton is absolutely terrible for, and it was very quiet as well. Never popped up with any annoying update screens or registration screens or subscription warnings or anything. It performed everything silently in the background whenever your computer wasn't busy. It would only ever pop up if it found a virus and it popped up a monthly summary once a month to show you general stats about your computer. It also automatically cleaned out all of your temp files and sped up your system every week, last I heard Norton doesn't empty all of your temp files, could have changed not sure.I'm actually kind of disappointed Microsoft is discontinuing OneCare. It was a great product. But I just installed MSE and it is perfect. By far the lightest antivirus program today as far as system resources go. It's silent, automatic update and real time scanner, and it asks you to schedule an optional weekly scan. That's it. Zero annoyance. And it didn't slow my computers boot time by even a single second on Windows 7, and I actually timed it. I recommend you guys try it out. It's a great little antivirus, lighter than AVG and way less annoyance than AVG too.


    I beg to differ. OneCare was actually an inferior product. It had detection rates in the 86% area, which seems good, but it actually isn't, when other products score in in low 90%'s or even up to 96%-97%. And sometimes that all the difference it makes between having a clean, fully working or a completely infected computer.

    I'm using Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 and I'm most pleased with it. Low on resources, fast, I even intalled it on a netbook running XP and it ran great! I used to have Norton Internet Security 2004, but then I ran into problems with Norton. Norton 360 simply wouldn't work properly with my computer. It turned itself off which was incomprehensible. It reamained opened in the tray, but it wasn't doing anything. I asked for a refund.

    Then I got Panda Internet Security. It had 3 licenses, which was good, but I had two problems with it. It said it was compatible with Windows 98 SE, but, er... it wasn't really. Unless you liked to be surprised every now and then with error messages and a an automatic reboot. On the Windows XP machine I ran it, I didn't have any such problems, but they were a little dishonest in my humble opinion. I may know what I'm doing, but a cumputer illiterate might be alarmed to see that the suite has found a lot of spyware, when in reality it's just harmless cookies no other suite classifies as spyware. I don't even know if that's even good for their own reputation. On the one hand they can say "Our suite catcher more viruses than others. On the other hand people might ask "What is this firewall doing, if viruses keep coming in like this ?" Not to speak of the assistance. They did have phone assistance, but those guys were retarded. Really, they didn't know what they were doing, and in subsequent e-mails they didn'd even know how to write properly. Anyway, I didn't like this kind of approach and asked for a refund. And I got it.

    I used AVG, which is good, but one day my mother came home with her USB pen containing a virus. AVG detected something, but couldn't erase it. Avast, on the other hand, did detect three variants of teh virus and was able to "kill" them all. I switched to Avast.

    I do have AVG on my Windows 7 RC machine and it runs fine. I haven't tried to see if Avast is now officially working on Windows 7. Or at least working well if not officially.

    On my main machine I run Kaspersky Internet Security though, best Suite so far.
  • -5 Hide
    namelessted , June 19, 2009 10:25 PM
    wait, computer enthusiasts use antivirus software? seriously? I haven't used an antivirus program in years, i find no reason to. I use Firefox, only install software from trusted websites, and only get torrents from places like Demonoid or public trackers like piratebay from trusted uploaders.

    I can understand how the average consumer would benefit from something like this but anybody that has an inkling of common sense won't get spyware and crap like that. And in the very rare occasion that might happen, it is pretty easy to fix. I don't want to have a program running in the background constantly with a firewall causing all sorts of problems. It is just way easier to not have antivirus software.
  • 1 Hide
    tpi2007 , June 19, 2009 11:34 PM
    NamelessTedwait, computer enthusiasts use antivirus software? seriously? I haven't used an antivirus program in years, i find no reason to. I use Firefox, only install software from trusted websites, and only get torrents from places like Demonoid or public trackers like piratebay from trusted uploaders.I can understand how the average consumer would benefit from something like this but anybody that has an inkling of common sense won't get spyware and crap like that. And in the very rare occasion that might happen, it is pretty easy to fix. I don't want to have a program running in the background constantly with a firewall causing all sorts of problems. It is just way easier to not have antivirus software.



    Well, that it all very well, but hackers are trying to get into your system all the time if you don't have proper protection from a good firewall. I'll never forget the day when I had to reinstall Windows XP. SP2 was already out but my CD was the original one, without SP1. I didn't slipstream the thing, which I now would, but I wasn't familiar with it then. After I installed XP, the first thing that happened when I rebooted and went online - I just established the connection, I didn't even turn on IE or FF. I got that virus that would shut down you computer. Just like that. Yes, XP is allpatched now, but it's just a reminder that you should be protected.

    As to antivirus - how do you handle when someone gives you a usb pen or a memory card with files you need/want? How do you know you're safe ? You don't scan them ? I mean, you may very well trust your friends and colleagues, but that is no guarantee the pen is virus free.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 19, 2009 11:36 PM
    Host OS Vista HP64 - NOD32 AV (64-bit version)
    under VirtualBox 64, vm1 Ubuntu 9.04 64 none
    vm2 Win7 64 Avira Anti-Vir Classic
    vm3 XP Pro SP3 (32-bit) also Anti-Vir
    Host also runs Comodo firewall, the others native config
  • 0 Hide
    widcard , June 20, 2009 12:12 AM
    I use Kaspersky and it's about as good as they come for keeping crap off your comp, but you will never leave it running if you want to play your favorite games, yeah watch your FPS drop like a rock. So i am really pulling for Morro to do a good job and go easy on the CPU, It's FREE!! and could use that money towards a new GPU every year!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 20, 2009 12:48 AM
    e-Eye Digital Security's "BLINK" personal, it is working the best on Window 7 RC, low overhead, and doesn't hose the thing up. I have used them all, Avast, Norton, NOD32, Panda, McAfee you name it I have tried it. OneCare worked pretty good and I could monitor other machines for screwed up anti-virus and firewall.

    BLINK is the clear winner

    Jones
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