Microsoft Releases Free Antivirus Software

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Microsoft Security Essentials provides consumers and small business users with free basic antivirus and antirootkit protection. The application has the potential of reshaping the security software market and disrupting the efforts of several established channel-centric security vendors.

With a flick of the switch today, Microsoft will make available its free security suite, Microsoft Security Essentials. The suite, developed under the code name Morro, is the culmination of years of product development and acquired technology integration to transform Microsoft from a platform of security products to a provider of security protection.

MSE is compatible with Windows XP SP2 and SP3, Vista and Windows 7, and provides basic antivirus and anti-rootkit protection. The app is available for download in 19 countries -- Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

MSE is the successor of Windows Defender, an amalgamation of security technologies that Microsoft acquired from Sybari and Giant over the last four years. The client-side application is designed to give consumer users robust antivirus protection without an annual license or support fee. The suite leverages crowd-sourcing intelligences, in which users can share infection and malware information with Microsoft for development of better protections for the greater community.

While MSE is intended for the consumer market, it will undoubtedly make its way into small businesses that currently use commercial-grade applications by vendors such as Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro and others.

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Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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