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Hands on with Microsoft Security Essentials: anti-virus done right?

by Parm Mann on 24 June 2009, 12:02

Tags: Security Essentials, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qass3

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Software viruses and malware continue to possess a threat to millions of computers across the globe, and Microsoft - whose Windows operating systems are often a target of security attacks - is this year fighting back with a software solution of its own in the form of Microsoft Security Essentials.

The anti-malware software, previously codenamed Morro and launched yesterday as a beta in specific regions, is a freeware successor to the soon-to-be-retired Windows Live OneCare.

With a final release expected to become available later this year, Microsoft Security Essentials will provide free protection to users of Windows XP, Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows 7 operating systems.

So, what's changed since Windows Live OneCare? Well, Microsoft is now taking a streamlined approach to system security. Think of Microsoft Security Essentials as Windows Live OneCare without the bells and whistles, it really is just the "essentials" and aims to act as a lightweight alternative to competing solutions that carry a reputation of occupying a large memory footprint.

Small, free and effective? Sounds promising, so we've decided to load it up and give it a whirl.