Skip to main content

Report: Microsoft's Free Antivirus on 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!

  • jerther
    Release? woohoo!! uh... duh, just a beta... *sigh*
  • orbitron
    I'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?
  • igot1forya
    Will there me a MacOS version? :p
  • rooket
    If they got rid of ActiveX, that'd probably solve a whole world of spyware issues.
  • 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.
  • Gin Fushicho
    I'm useing Avast home edition because its free and right up there with government Anti-virus software. :p
  • bourgeoisdude
    The title is quite misleading. Reminds me of betanews.
  • zaratustra06
    I'll stay with Avira's free Antivir.
  • cregan89
    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.
  • deathblooms2k1
    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.