Microsoft Security Essentials Free to Consumers

by Volker Weber

This is a milestone:

Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Corp.’s new no-cost, core anti-malware service that helps protect consumers against viruses, spyware and other malicious software, will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 29

Microsoft Security Essentials will be available for Windows XP SP2 or SP3, Windows Vista and Windows 7 including Windows XP mode on both x32 and x64 PCs.

Microsoft Security Essentials will be available in eight languages and 19 countries including 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. More information about Microsoft Security Essentials and the product download is available at

Symantec won't like this, but consumers should. Should go live today at Microsoft >


Not sure. It would sound good if PCs would be delivered in a safe mode, but if Microsoft makes it impossible to earn money with security for other companies, there won't be any competition anymore. And look at what happened last time. Over roughly 5 years there was no development of the Internet Explorer and web development was stuck.

We still pay for it today.

Mariano Kamp, 2009-09-29

There will be competition. It's the bad guys against the good ones.

If you are an operation system manufacturer it's your responsibility to ensure it's secure! If it has security holes fix them as quickly as possible. I think it's a shame if a modern OS ships without anti-virtus and anti-malware protection. The average user (i.e. non IT pro) is completely unaware of today's security threats. I think Microsoft takes a huge step into the right direction.

Markus Dierker, 2009-09-29

It seems the interest was quite high:
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 a later date for possible additional availability.

Jens Polster, 2009-09-29

The beta has ended. This page will switch to a release today. Where Microsoft's today last until 9 tomorrow in our time zone.

Volker Weber, 2009-09-29

So wait - including a free internet browser that competes with other free internet browsers with their OS invokes the EU and a huge antitrust case, but a free security bundle - however essential and basic it may be - that actually will have an impact on competing commercial products is not expected to turn some heads?


Marc Beckersjuergen, 2009-09-29

@Marc: it's a download so it's your choice which anti-virus software to use.


Bob Congdon, 2009-09-29

btw, in the meantime it has arrived.

Armin Auth, 2009-09-29

After my Avira Free Antivirus copy somehow refuses to start automatically, I took the chance and installed Microsoft Security Essentials.

First impression is very good, lot of explanations in a very clean user interface in which you can find everything easily.

Hope to read some tests about the virus scan abilities soon, if that is also in a good range, this will be hard competition for Symantec and all the others.

@Mariano: Name one OS or even better one software which ships in a secure state without any vulnerability. Unfortunately, today you can be glad if a software release comes in a stable version and a short known issues list.

Fits somehow to the discussion: Does an average mac user have a Antivirus/-spyware program and a personal firewall running? I just now a hand full Mac users and they all are in the opinion they don't need one, but I still think thats somehow dangerous or not?

Patrick Bohr, 2009-09-29

Patrick, Mac has a firewall. And no virusses.

Running the Microsoft software now. Very unobtrusive.

Volker Weber, 2009-09-29

Running Microsoft software now too on Win7 64 bit RC. Seems to work but I'd like to see it properly tested.

I think MS may have actually done something right for a change. Most other PC security packages have become very bloated and (despite their frequent protestations to the contrary) often do have a significant impact on machine resources, leading to impaired performance at least some of the time. This is particularly noticeable on single core machines in my experience.

By contrast, the MS offering is light and unobtrusive. Question is, is it effective?

Chris Linfoot, 2009-09-30

Our test of the beta version suggest it is.

This should be replacing some of the crapware that came preloaded on Windows Vista Home machines. "REGISTER ME. TRY ME. BUY ME."

Volker Weber, 2009-09-30

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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