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Microsoft Security Essentials updated with new beta release

by Pete Mason on 22 July 2010, 12:22

Tags: Security Essentials, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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When Microsoft launched the first version of its Security Essentials software last year, it seemed to tick all of the right boxes.  The program was lightweight, easy to use, offered good protection against malware and, best of all, it was completely free.  This week marks the beta release of a new version of the program that hopes to add even more to the winning formula.

New protection engine

The headline feature of the update will be the new protection engine.  Not only does it claim to be better at detecting and cleaning up malicious code, but it should boast better performance as well.  On top of this, the software will support integration with Internet Explorer for improved protection against web-based threats as well as a built-in network inspection system.

The final major update is quite significant, but something that perhaps should have been included from the first release.  Security Essentials will now integrate with Windows Firewall, allowing settings to be adjusted through the program.  This probably won't be a huge gain for advance-knowledge users who either know how to tinker with the built-in firewall or disable it altogether.  However, the integration should help the average user to take better control over the security of their PC.  For a program made by Microsoft, the least we expect is a decent level of communication with other Windows systems, so we're pleased to see this feature being added.

Beta 2.0

For those interested, the software is available in 32- and 64-bit versions from Microsoft Connect and is compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7.  It is still a beta version though, so the normal caveats and warnings apply.  Note that while the download links were apparently experiencing some issues earlier in the week, they seem to be working normally now.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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I've heard this is the dogs danglies with Vista or 7, but is it still good for XP? Still on Spybot and AVG Free here.
I've heard this is the dogs danglies with Vista or 7, but is it still good for XP? Still on Spybot and AVG Free here.

Yes, works great on XP. Just check that it loads up correctly on boot - some services settings can cause it to be slow on older computers.
Installed this beta a few hours ago, on Windows 7 64bit, no problems so far. The scan seems quicker although I never did time the old one so I don't know for sure. So far so good.
I've still to try this, I have a XP dual boot with nothing on so I might give it a shot on that.
I have heard a few positive things about it as well. However im going to act with caution as Kaspersky gets very high ratings and I think its dog excrement!

One thing I used to like about AVG was that you could install it in Safe mode. This is now not the case so I'd be interested in knowing whether SE can or not.

One thing I have been dissappointed with SE is the fact that you cant install it on Server 2003/2008, but then it was expected as very little does thats free. :( hail to Spybot on that, one of a few with balls not to restrict based on OS level.
I'm the beta too and it's as solid as the original was when it was released a year ago. I'm not sure if the scan engine is faster but so far it's stable and doesn't slow down my computer.