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
6/24/2009 7:12:21 PM
I live in PNG, but got the download yesterday. Surprise!? It's running fine at 6mb on my win7 64bit core i7 rig.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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
FBI's Facial Recognition Database to Have 52 Million Criminal, Non-Criminal Photos by 2015
April 15, 2014, 2:56 PM
Microsoft's Anti-Google "Scroogled" Campaign May Have Ended
April 15, 2014, 2:44 PM
FAA Requiring All Flights to Have GPS Tracking System by 2020
April 15, 2014, 1:25 PM
Google Updates Terms of Service to Disclose Email Scanning for Targeted Ads
April 15, 2014, 9:29 AM
Netflix Speeds Increase for Comcast Users Following Recent Agreement
April 14, 2014, 8:02 PM
44 Percent of Twitter's Total Users Have Never Sent a Tweet
April 14, 2014, 7:55 AM
Most Popular Articles
Cities to Carpoolers: Sharing Your Car is Illegal, We Will Seize Your Cars
April 4, 2014, 9:17 PM
Taiwan's AOU Claims to Have World's Highest-Res. OLED Smartphone Display
April 11, 2014, 1:44 PM
Navy Prepares for Historic First Live Test of a Rail Gun at Sea in 2016
April 9, 2014, 2:06 PM
It's Very Likely Neanderthals and Humans Had Sex, Produced Offspring
April 10, 2014, 8:40 PM
Cops at Historically Troubled LAPD are Sabotaging Digital Recording Devices
April 9, 2014, 11:10 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information