Microsoft Launches Beta of Free Antivirus

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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  • coopchennick
    I remember someone saying Microsoft's last antivirus program was very good on resources so I'll give it a try.
  • mtyermom
    I went to download this MSE beta and was met with this message:


    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.
  • gaevs
    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..