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!