We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Microsoft Security Essentials coming tomorrow

Free antivirus software can be downloaded from Microsoft's site

Microsoft's free antivirus software, Security Essentials, will be made publicly available tomorrow.

The security software is Microsoft's replacement for Windows Live OneCare, a for-a-fee security suite that was retired at the end of June 2009.

Microsoft offered a beta version of Security Essentials, once codenamed 'Morro', 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".

Microsoft said the software consumes less memory and disk space than commercial security suites like those from vendors such as Symantec and McAfee.

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.

"All files were properly detected and treated by the product," said Marx. "That's good, as several other [antivirus] scanners are still not able to detect and kill all of these critters yet," said Andreas Marx, one of the firm's two managers.

However, Symantec is urging PC users not to rely on the software as their only form of protection.

"The security industry has moved on from the product Microsoft is launching. Unique malware and social engineering fly under the radar of the traditional signature based technology employed by free security tools such as Microsoft's," said Con Mallon, EMEA Consumer product marketing director at Symantec.

"We believe the false sense of security provided by this tool is almost as dangerous as having no security at all.The latest generation of internet security is real-time and reputation-based, operating in real-time and not relying on a signature being produced and downloaded before the computer is protected."

Symantec also suggested that commentary from users, reviewers and testers of Microsoft's beta version indicated that "the company needs to do a lot of catching up, to even get close to the latest paid for products on the market".

Security Essentials will run on Windows XP SP2 or later, Windows Vista and Windows 7 and can be downloaded from Microsoft's site.

Broadband speed test

PC security advice

See also: Microsoft to make Security Essentials available soon

IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ (UK Sony Xperia Z4) UK release date, price and specification: Pre-order the Sony Xp9......

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

What Jony Ive's new job means for Apple design

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer