Microsoft's Free AV Protection Looks Great, But Has Been Pulled From Download
June 24, 2009 10:40 AM
comment(s) - last by
Microsoft Security Essentials installs quickly on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 machines. The free antimalware suite hit the streets yesterday in beta form.
The new software is extremely efficient offering minimal memory and processor usage, even during a full scans. Scans are also relatively quick.
(Source: The Washington Post)
Users will have to wait a bit longer to practice safe computing
Codenamed "Morro", Microsoft's
free antivirus software
offering has been one of the most anticipated software releases of the year, perhaps only playing second fiddle to Microsoft's own
. The release is expected to shake up the security market, which is split currently between pricey offerings, and a handful of free competitors like AVG which assail the user with ads encouraging them to purchase "premium" versions.
Microsoft's new software, named Microsoft Security Essentials, comes without the sticker-shock or ad burden. It was
for free download in beta form (read on -- it's no longer available, though).
For its part, Microsoft insists that the software isn't designed to make the antimalware paid software market obsolete. It insists that its software is primarily for users who currently have no protection. Indeed, the software lacks many of the bells and whistles that its predecessor, OneCare, had. Among these omitted features are a dedicated firewall, data backup solution and restore or PC performance tuning.
On the other hand Windows XP (as of Service Pack 2) and Windows Vista already come with firewalls, so for most users the need for a second firewall is questionable (most users have trouble configuring one firewall, let alone two). And most users don't ever use the data backup or tuning features offered on antimalware suites -- they just are looking for protection against threats. In that regard, by offering equally strong or even stronger malware protection, Microsoft's new software threatens to make AV consumer software sales obsolete (though vendors may choose to move to Apple, which is a
promising new target
and offers no such free protection).
The biggest problem with the software? It was released yesterday and the beta program has already filled up. Microsoft released a message stating, "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."
That said, if you were lucky enough to grab a download, the suite appears to be working more efficiently in some metrics than competitive offerings from Symantec and McAffee. Even when scanning, the software only used a scant 4 MB of memory in initial tests; processor use was also minimal. Quick scans take a mere 10 minutes, while a full scan comes in at a competitive 45 minutes, despite the small footprint. The software strives to perform most of the scanning when the system is idle, and even then maintains a relatively polite footprint.
The software offers real time protection and receives updates of new malware signatures 3 times daily, directly from Microsoft.
have complained about the fact that the system sends signatures of suspected malware back to Microsoft. This appears to be nothing more than "big brother" paranoia, though -- outgoing traffic (to Microsoft) on installs is minimal.
One minor hassle is that USB drives are not automatically scanned, though they can be selected by the user.
The new software works on Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions). Installation is quick and easy, though there have been some complaints of installation problems on Windows XP Professional installations. Installs must pass a check by Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy tool, so less savvy pirates are left out of the free AV fun.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Another misleading headline
6/24/2009 11:50:20 AM
When I first saw the headline, I got the impression the beta looks good, but it was having problems so Microsoft had to pull it. The "but" is a negative.
A better headline "MS pulls AV Beta because the beta program reached its limit."
RE: Another misleading headline
6/24/2009 4:52:09 PM
I don't know, the only reason I read the article was because I thought something negative happened. I'm sure that's why it appears misleading.
RE: Another misleading headline
6/25/2009 5:25:01 AM
come on, seriously, when has a Jason Mick article EVER had a misleading headline?
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
Tinkerer Squeezes Windows 7 Onto Pentium II System
June 23, 2009, 11:50 AM
Beta of Free Microsoft Antivirus Suite to be Released Tuesday
June 19, 2009, 9:45 AM
New Mac Virus is a Worm, But Can't Pose Threat Due to Amateur Mistake
May 7, 2009, 9:06 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Instagram Bans "Curvy" From Hashtag Searches, Provokes "Plus Sized" Outrage
July 16, 2015, 1:20 PM
Mozilla Promise Punctual Windows 10 Firefox Release, Teases at iOS Arrival
July 7, 2015, 3:08 PM
Netflix Announces 7-to-1 Stock Split, Eyes Explosive Overseas Growth
June 23, 2015, 8:18 PM
Most Popular Articles
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Windows 10 to Get New Features in October Service Release 2 (SR2)
July 30, 2015, 5:50 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Cortana Help Button is Coming Soon for $23
July 30, 2015, 5:07 PM
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information