Microsoft Security Essentials is here; download it if you dare

Microsoft Security Essentials is now available. Formerly codenamed Morro, this replacement for OneCare is free and sounds like it could be a genuine threat to commercial anti-malware. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get ready to download it.

By Richi Jennings. September 29, 2009.

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Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention résumé inspiration...

  Gregg Keizer has been chatting with Microsoft's PR bunnies:

Microsoft ... confirmed that it will launch its free security software suite, which has been in development for almost a year. ... "Microsoft Security Essentials, the highly anticipated no-cost consumer security offering, will be released to the public tomorrow, September 29," a company spokeswoman said.


Security Essentials ... -- once codenamed "Morro" -- ... is the company's replacement for Windows Live OneCare, a for-a-fee security suite that was retired at the end of June 2009. ... Pitched ... as a basic anti-virus, anti-spyware program that consumes less memory and disk space than commercial security suites. ... Security Essentials will be available for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 as a 4.7MB download from the Microsoft Web site.

Carrie-Ann Skinner reminds us:

Microsoft offered a beta version of Security Essentials ... to about 75,000 users in June, but quickly stopped it when that target was reached. Two weeks ago the company thanked beta testers for their help and said that the polished edition of Microsoft Security Essentials would ship "in the coming weeks".


The software was commended by independent testing firm AV-Test GmbH after it pitted Security Essentials against nearly 3,200 common viruses, bot Trojans and worms. ... Security Essentials will run on Windows XP SP2 or later, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Aditya Kane wonders about the competition:

Some analysts think Microsoft is directly challenging companies like McAfee and Symantec by allowing a free security suite. Compared to Microsoft’s lack of expertise and experience with security software suites it seems unrealistic. ... But might pose a challenge for other companies giving out free anti-virus options like AVG.


Microsoft and Symantec are sharing intelligence about security threats and information with each other on Windows platforms for better security collaboration. Symantec might want to stop sharing information ... if ... Security Essentials ... is perceived as competition.

David Hunter listens to them dismiss MSE, and strategizes thuswise:

That may well be classified as whistling past the graveyard since very little trumps free and if Windows Security Essentials is as good as the beta reviews indicated, the security vendors may have a real problem. I’m still waiting for one or more of them to drop a dime to the antitrust regulators in the US or EU.

Mike Halsey dumps AVG:

Microsoft will no doubt have already spoken to PC vendors about bundling MSE with their new Windows 7 PCs. This would be an excellent move. Okay so the PC vendors get a cut every time someone activates and pays for the full version of whatever (usually rubbish) anti-virus software they’ve bundled, but MSE offers a couple of features that raise it above the competition.


I’ve been using MSE for some time now and I’ve been impressed enough to finally dump AVG, and that took a lot believe me! It’s simple to set up and use and needs no tweaking ‘out of the box’. In short, it’s perfect for people like most of my friends and family, who only know about updating anti-virus software after they’ve been hit by a trojan.

So what's your take?

Get involved: leave a comment.

    And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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