Update: Microsoft Security Essentials final version released

Finally, after a year-long development phase, Microsoft Security Essentials has been publicly released. If you can't wait to get your hands on Microsoft's latest security software, you don't need to wait any longer.

Microsoft recently confirmed the final version would be made available "in the coming weeks" but has taken the wraps off the final edition today. The final build number is 1.0.1611.0.

Security Essentials is designed to work on Windows XP, Vista and 7 and protects end users against virus threats and spy ware. MSE is Microsoft's free anti-virus and anti-spyware product that is set to replace Microsoft's paid Windows Live OneCare subscription service which was withdrawn earlier this year. Neowin exclusively revealed Security Essentials in June when it was codenamed "Morro".

In June, a public-beta was offered, and the download limit was reached within 24 hours. It will be absolutely free for all users of Windows XP, Vista and 7, and distributed in both 32bit and 64bit flavors — as long as you have a genuine copy of Windows. Microsoft will not bundle it with Windows 7, though, when it's released on October 22nd, 2009.

"Consumers have told us that they want the protection of real-time security software but we know that too many are either unwilling or unable to pay for it, and so end up unprotected," said Amy Barzdukas, general manager for consumer security at Microsoft. "With Microsoft Security Essentials, consumers can get high-quality protection that is easy to get and easy to use – and it won't get in their way."

MSE is likely to be targeted to compete with the low end of anti-virus products from other providers, and it is not expected to make a big impact on sales of full-blown security suites. MSE is designed for home use. It requires no registration, trials or renewals and is available for download directly from Microsoft. Most users are expected to be home users or small businesses with a only a small amount of managed PCs. In a statement earlier this year, Janice Chaffin, president of Symantec's Consumer Division claimed: "Microsoft's free product is basically a stripped down version of the OneCare product Microsoft pulled from the shelves. A full Internet security suite is what consumers require today to stay fully protected."

Security Essentials ranked fourth in a test with other leading free malware protection. If you are interested in MSE you can read an informative early review by Paul Thurott here.

Download: Windows XP (32 bit)
Download: Windows Vista & Windows 7 (32 bit)
Download: Windows Vista & Windows 7 (64 bit)

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Pretty odd not to have had this ready and shipped as a feature of Windows 7. Also bound to cause confusion amongst some users with the presence of Windows Defender. Nice to see MS finally release something, even though the definition updates take an age!

Well MS fails with detecting genuine copies of Windows. Mine is far from Genuine yet it passed and installed. Well done MS!

How does this Microsoft Security Essentials compare with Avast Antivirus (free version)?

Avast is going to be releasing Avast version 5; they said October was their expected month for release of the beta and then the RTM version. I am using windows vista and have AVAST free installed at the moment. If MSE can do better in detection rates and actually does take care of the problems (I didn't particularly like Windows Defender but....) then AVAST, that might make me switch, unless there were a better reason to change away from AVAST?

I was using the Beta for a few month already (via Microsoft Connect) and I was and still am very positive about it.
Today I had my first big issue. I was scanning one of my drives and watching the Google Wave presentation on YouTube. Suddenly the video begun to stutter. I looked in the taskmanager and noticed that all almost all my 4 GB RAM was in use and high CPU load (95%). I was only using one extra tab in IE and scanning with MSE.
MSE is light weight only when it is idle, well, running in the background so to say, but when scanning is slow as h*ll. This is also with definitions update in MSE itself. There is still work left for Microsoft. I hope MSE not becomes bloated as such as Norton AV, however they seem to recovering with a new light weight scanner.
MSE is still highly recommended. It does what it suppose to do, keep you safe and clean.

Just to add I tried something with the new MSE compared to an experience I had with Kaspersky and TM-IS.

I played WOW while a full scan was in progress.

Results were:

TM = Could not play. Way too laggy.
KIS = Same as TM.
MSE = Could play easily, with the a minimal amount of lag.

BIG Thumbs up for MSE.

i just might try-out my hand on this. it looks very promissing, and i might not have to dole out some extra cash to renew my mcafee license which expires soon

I have just finished upgrading to the final version of MSE, and I must admit, I am EXTREMELY impressed! A former Avast Home Edition + Malware Bytes AntiMalware user, I did a full system scan on both my machines before installing MSE and found no threats. MSE? It found 3 threats already, and they are not false possitives!

So far, like many have said here, it's very lightweight, unobtrusive, efficient, and most importantly, does what it's supposed to, keep my systems clean and safe. If I were other A/V producers, especially Symantec and Kaspersky, I'd be shaking in my boots, cause this kills their products hands-down!

I've been using this product since before it was Public. Never looked back, and have recommended it to everyone. Even installed it on my Sisters PC, my Dad's, and three other friends. A+ Product from Microsoft.

So-Unreal said,
Does this have a firewall and if so does it block traffic going both ways?

No, it does not - but in Vista and 7 you can use Windows Firewall to do that.

Yeah, if you have Vista/7, Windows Firewall (with Advanced Security) as it is called can be used for both inbound and outbound connections. Works just as well as any other software firewall. I think someone else mentioned though, most users are behind home routers with NAT and SPI, etc.

Hm... But is it any good? I haven't looked into this yet. I'll likely just stick with Norton. I really like their antivirus products.

This looks like it has been modeled after Forefront. IF it is anything like it, I would definitely use the program. Forefront has been a solid solution not just at home, but for work as well. It's about the only thing from Microsoft that ever impressed me.

As others have mentioned, I think its a serious mistake by MS to use WU as the delivery method for virus defs. Unless you update manually, (which seems painfully slow at times) You're stuck with WU only checking at its scheduled time. WU doesn't immediately check for updates if that time is missed like when your PC is powered off either. Little things like this will leave alot of people potentially unprotected from new threats. Also, not everyone likes Automatic Updates.

heard about it, thought I'd wait for the release version.
Installed on my laptop, Win7, no problems. Installed on the home computer, Win7 X64, no issues.
Appears to be as light weight on resources as Nod32. Perfect timing...my PAID Nod32 program runs
out in a couple weeks anyway.

well so far the program is working great the detection system as well .. i will wait couple a day to see what happen the problem with load the system when was idleng is solve ... will see

I updated my beta version to 1.0.1611.0 today. All is fine and dandy. Great bit of software. Not that I ever had many scares as I took sensible precautions and ran Defender too....

BavonWW said,
I updated my beta version to 1.0.1611.0 today. All is fine and dandy. Great bit of software. Not that I ever had many scares as I took sensible precautions and ran Defender too....


I've been running MSE since it went into beta (switched from NAV/NIS 2009), and had used WLOC before that. While either NAV or NIS now uses fewer resources, the two together (and they are usually sold as a suite these days) take up more RAM than MSE does by itself (which replaces both). Because of the much lower RAM footprint (and better detection rates) than NAV/NIS, I recommend it wihtout hesitation.

How is the definition update done now in the final version?

The beta version of MSE used Windows Update / Automatic Updates for it, and I normally have this turned off because I don't like to be nagged to install security updates and reboot PC when MS releases them every month, but the problem is this would stop definition updates too. I hope it's been changed

The only thing I don't like the sound of is the definitions being sent by WU. I have WU set to inform me when updates are available, but to not download them. I could see this being a problem with MSE.

"Low memory resources"? As for me, this product is another resource hog - the main process takes 45MB(!) of memory! And why did they merged the update system with Windows Update? If WU is disabled (I prefer manual checks), definitions are not updated either.

slimm said,
Win 7, 5 MB

Hmm... Just to check - are you sure that the processes from all users are shown?
I'm talking about the process called MsMpEng.exe - now it takes approx. 46000K!!

Aquila said,
Hmm... Just to check - are you sure that the processes from all users are shown?
I'm talking about the process called MsMpEng.exe - now it takes approx. 46000K!!

I see what you're saying. Mine is using the same amount. Apparently, it's the Anti Malware portion of the program. It may be an issue for some that don't have a lot of memory but not for me, it's not an issue.

What process is everyone reporting a size for?

MsMpEng.exe is taking up 87MB on my system. I could care less since I have 8GB of ram, but I just think that's a huge difference from what everyone is reporting.

Oh, this is on Win7 x64 RTM.

MsMpEng.exe is using 40MB on my system. I have issues with it using a lot of CPU, well I did in the beta so hopefully this solves this.

Chsoriano said,
What process is everyone reporting a size for?

MsMpEng.exe is taking up 87MB on my system. I could care less since I have 8GB of ram, but I just think that's a huge difference from what everyone is reporting.

Oh, this is on Win7 x64 RTM.

msseces.exe User Interface 5MB
msmpeng.exe Anti malware executable 43 MB

This is with Win 7, 32

slimm said,


msseces.exe User Interface 5MB
msmpeng.exe Anti malware executable 43 MB

This is with Win 7, 32

So... any ideas why my usage would be double what most others' process is using?

Chsoriano said,

So... any ideas why my usage would be double what most others' process is using?

the reason is ... you have 64 bit version. And so do I !
It's using about 73 MB.

Tom W said,
MsMpEng.exe is using 40MB on my system. I have issues with it using a lot of CPU, well I did in the beta so hopefully this solves this.


It still does. Kind of baffles me when everyone else here runs around claiming how 'light' MSE is.

2xSilverKnight said,


the reason is ... you have 64 bit version. And so do I !
It's using about 73 MB.

Hmm.. well, I guess that makes sense. I just checked mine today, and it's sitting at 61 MB. Oh well, like I said, don't really care, but was just curious.

Hopefully lots will now install this instead of some fake av which tells them they have lots of problems and it`s gonna cost x to fix it.

Wow...on my Windows 7 32-bit machine it downloaded, installed, updated, and starting scanning in under 2 minutes - no reboot required. Can't say anything for performance or quality of protection yet, but the install experience couldn't have been better!

Average users who refuse to update Windows are asking for it. The naggy nature of the "Security Center" or this new "Security Essentials" are sure to cut down on stupidity-related issues.

Using autorun to infect systems. Viruses had more class back in the old days, there aren't any boot-sector viruses anymore.

mamamamamamama said,
Average users who refuse to update Windows are asking for it. The naggy nature of the "Security Center" or this new "Security Essentials" are sure to cut down on stupidity-related issues.

Using autorun to infect systems. Viruses had more class back in the old days, there aren't any boot-sector viruses anymore.

Naggy nature? This is easily the least naggy AV I've ever used.

nacquatella said,
Would you guys recommend MS Security Essecials over AVG Free and/or Trend Micro AV?

Thanks for your advice.

Neil



No doubt, yes

Eh, people, how many active and nasty viruses are there anyway? What's the big deal? Vulnerabilities are scarce, they're found out by security professionals (not script kiddies) and publicly announced. Fixes are issued before exploits show up. No one bothers to write exploits anyway. Most viruses today are crappy ones that copy themselves over to usb drives.

Anti-virus software is almost unnecessary, if this Security Essentials package is light enough on system resources, it will be pretty capable if it gains widespread use. Like Paul Thurott said, if it gets installed on most of the machines running Windows, it will give Microsoft a tremendous amount of feedback which will be beneficial to its customers.

@Osiris
I doubt they have a Big-brother scheme. Indulging people's vices earns corps. more money, it's unlikely they will turn into the everywatching eye anytime soon.

As someone who works in the finance industry helping investigate and mitigate fraud commited via electronic means, e.g. understand how malware is devloped, how it works, and what its capable of, I would just like to say that your first paragraph shows a stunning naivety of the subject matter you are discussing.

tachikoma1373 said,
, e.g. understand how malware is devloped, how it works, and what its capable of, I would just like to say that your first paragraph shows a stunning naivety of the subject matter you are discussing.

Just how much is it capable of exactly?


@Ci7

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conficker#Discovery

"The first variant of Conficker, discovered in early November 2008, propagated through the Internet by exploiting a vulnerability in a network service (MS08-067) on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta."

Name one other succesful worm that used a vulnerability in in past 3-4 years.

Scary worm, infecting pcs using usb drives. OH GOD! It must be a genius.
>=|

if you don't download stuff from internet and never go to porn sites, the chance of getting virus is very very very very low. of course people do go to watch porn and download warez, so seems anti virus is still useful.

cmc482 said,
Now thats an upgrade. Didn't even have to restart the program or my comp!

i wasnt even sure that it upgraded it. anyone know how to check?

Soldiers33 said,
i wasnt even sure that it upgraded it. anyone know how to check?

Open the program and click help, it's on the right hand side. Select "About Microsoft Security Essentials". "Microsoft Security Essentials Version" should read 1.0.1611.0.

cmc482 said,
Now thats an upgrade. Didn't even have to restart the program or my comp!

to me, an antivirus app install without reboot is not a good thing. antivirus needs to be loaded very early during boot to protect deep system kernel.

It's definitely a step up from what I have read - but I think I'll stick with Avast for now until further reviews of the final version of MSE. I like Avira but it doesn't seem to have native x64 support while Avast does.

Umm you may want to read the comment before spewing out what you think might be helpful...He said "Avira...doesn't seem to have native x64 support"

cmc482 said,
Umm you may want to read the comment before spewing out what you think might be helpful...He said "Avira...doesn't seem to have native x64 support"


What

"I like Avira but it doesn't seem to have native x64 support while Avast does." ... "while Avira does"

excalpius said,
You can dump Avira and Avast. MSE is better in every way.


Not performance wise. I still see MSE hogging the CPU and taking a rather long time to parse a folder full of EXEs, while with Avast the icons load without much of an issue.

Greenstein said,
Does this also replace something like Spybot Search and Destroy?

Yes, but malwarebytes and superantispyware have already done that .. and yes this should replace them as well, at lease for an on deman scanner

I wonder how many people not running genuine versions of Windows will install this. The License agreement lays it out pretty clearly that the software will perform validation checks on the Operating system.

Looking further into the license theres a cpl of things im not down with namely the internet based features says it collects IP address et al, the DRM and error reporting features look sketchy too. I get the impression these features can be disabled though which is alright.

------------------------------------------------------
After installing, im not seeing any options to disable spynet community membership, error reporting or the DRM items listed in the license....I like my antivirus software to connect to servers for only 2 things; definition and or program updates and maybe license checking - not all this business.

- Microsoft Digital Rights Management. If you use the software to access content that has been protected with Microsoft Digital Rights Management (DRM), in order to let you play the content, the software may automatically request media usage rights from a rights server on the Internet and download and install available DRM Updates.
I dont want to see anything about DRM in anti-virus software MS

- This software automatically sends error reports to Microsoft that describe which software components had errors. No files or memory dumps will be sent unless you choose to send them. From time-to-time, we will also download a small file to your computer that permits us to collect information about specific errors you have while using the software.
No option to stop this business, best I get is to be able to choose not to send you the memory dumps, gee thanks

Dont get me wrong I respect its a free piece of software and all I was just looking forward to it and am slightly disappointed that some of these additional items appear to have no opt out or ability to disable them.

So this is still to be used with conjunction with Windows Defender?

Testing out the software now on my virtual pc, seems fine, although I never use AV products and never been infected, but best to try it anyways.

Downloading :-)

--UPDATE--
I tried to install it and it says that I have a newer version already installed. I suppose I'm fine then.

Is this the latest version?
Microsoft Security Essentials Version: 1.0.2140.0
Antimalware Client Version: 2.0.5612.0
Engine Version: 1.1.5101.0
Antivirus definitions: 1.67.178.0
Antispyware definitions: 1.67.178.0

This is what I have on Vista SP2 32-bit:
Microsoft Security Essentials Version: 1.0.1611.0
Antimalware Client Version: 2.0.6212.0
Engine Version: 1.1.5101.0
Antivirus definitions: 1.67.178.0
Antispyware definitions: 1.67.178.0

I can't figure why yours would have a higher version number, but you could try uninstall/reinstall if you have doubts.

GP007 said,
How does it show 1.0.2140.0 when it's newer than 1.0.1611.0 which is the final released today?

1.0.2140.0 is a leaked Microsoft internal build. 1.0.1611.0 is the final public build.

Stick with NOD32 for the time being. Security Essentials is based on OneCare, and I doubt they've improved the detection rate much.

jmc777 said,
Stick with NOD32 for the time being. Security Essentials is based on OneCare, and I doubt they've improved the detection rate much.

You obviously don't know what you're talking about.

testman said,
You obviously don't know what you're talking about.

As far as I know, he's actually right. MSE has the same engine as OneCare.

jmc777 said,
Stick with NOD32 for the time being. Security Essentials is based on OneCare, and I doubt they've improved the detection rate much.

The One Care engine (which is the same engine in MSE) is just below Avast in detection rates in the last year or so and is one of the top three at detection. You obviously don't know what you are talking about since MSE beats NOD32 by a long shot in detection. Do yourself a favor and try it out first before dismissing it as crap.

Julius Caro said,
As far as I know, he's actually right. MSE has the same engine as OneCare.

Correct on the engine being the same but the poster was wrong on detection rates. The OneCare/MSE engine is in the top three in detection for over a year now.

soonerproud said,
The One Care engine (which is the same engine in MSE) is just below Avast in detection rates in the last year or so and is one of the top three at detection. You obviously don't know what you are talking about since MSE beats NOD32 by a long shot in detection. Do yourself a favor and try it out first before dismissing it as crap.


First of all, I didn't dismiss it as "crap". Different tests show different results; it depends on what tests you believe in. I tend to go with the av-comparatives.org people, they seem to have a decent reputation.

It's the Forefront engine and it's better or as good as everything out there, paid or otherwise.

NOD32 has had huge problems with detection and software bugs (especially under 64 bit). So I've dumped all of them and gone with MSE.

soonerproud said,
You obviously don't know what you are talking about since MSE beats NOD32 by a long shot in detection

Source please?

Exactly.

I have been using the beta ever since it was released and it's one of the best products Microsoft has ever released (if not THE best). It's light, fast and a simple interface. Not to mention FREE!!!

I can't wait for the full version. It beats both Nod32 and Kaspersky in my opinion. It beats everything!

Most definately. I respect AVG but they made some decisions that IMO undermined the usability of the product. I refuse to use ANY browser toolbars, and any product that recommends you use theirs already sunk two points in my book. (I know it wasn't a necessity, but it was an annoyance.)

java2beans said,
No, something better than that. For an example Ad-Aware from Lavasoft.


Have you tried Malwarebytes........Far better product

Yes, it does. The article says it ;)

" It will be absolutely free for all users Windows XP, Vista and 7, both in 32bit and 64bit flavors."

Riggers said,
Doesn`t support XP 64bit, only Vista/7

Support for x64 XP was dropped a long time ago... I doubt they support it now with this. That's probably why you don't see it.
You could try it tho...

Been using it since early beta and its now "bye bye" to all the laggy competitors. Most welcome!

Anyone know how it integrates with Outlook? Does it scan mail and attachments on delivery or first on click/use?

Been using it since the Beta came out... Replaced AVG on all my computers eventually, and never looked back.
Uses much less resources, the installation file is less than 5MB, and is extremely easy to use. Recommended!!

It shouldn`t do significantly, the only thing is the schedeled scan which might kick in but you can, well schedule it :-) to not run or for when you wan`t
For an AV it`s a no frills, bells and whistles type but it sure gets the job done.Very light on resources good detection.....

I will try it on my laptop as soon as it is released.
I'm recommending my customers AVG Free or Kaspersky (if they can afford it).

Why recommend AVG Free? Instead, recommend others with Avira Antivir or Microsoft Security Essentials. AVG's detection rate is really poor and it is slow.

Pestbest said,
Why recommend AVG Free? Instead, recommend others with Avira Antivir or Microsoft Security Essentials. AVG's detection rate is really poor and it is slow.

I concur. AVG is horrible, and bordering on unprofessional. I stopped using it when it let two viruses onto my system in a zip file from a friend's USB memory stick. Luckily I didn't execute either of the two files, but I plugged the same stick into another PC that had McAfee VirusScan Enterprise on it, and the files were detected and deleted straight away.

I then removed AVG and installed Avast! instead which also picked up the files in the zip file I had copied to my desktop.

Right now I'm using NOD32 antivirus, which is my favourite "paid for" AV. Security Essentials is my favourite "free" AV.

ajua said,
I will try it on my laptop as soon as it is released.
I'm recommending my customers AVG Free or Kaspersky (if they can afford it).

Anyone that recommends AVG anymore, obviously doesn't know what they're doing!

Haven't tried this thing out yet and probably won't. If it's only ranked 4th, there's obviously better and I already have those!

I used to really like AVG but they loaded 8.x up with junk I don't want. My subscription just ended, but I was using Security Essentials before that.

Pestbest said,
Why recommend AVG Free? Instead, recommend others with Avira Antivir or Microsoft Security Essentials. AVG's detection rate is really poor and it is slow.

What is MSE's detection rates?

Big problem I have with Avira is the stupid pop-up ad that comes up. It's like, I want malware that does this removed, so why the hell would I get an antivirus that does the same thing? I understand the differences, but fact of the matter is that they could certainly go about placing their advertisement better than nagging the user. :

Been using it for 2 mths and love it....It picks up things just as quick as my Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition....sometimes before it even.

It will be interesting to see how good this really is compared to the other free security programs.
Definition updates, detection rates etc..

I look forward to testing it.

Actually it's better than the commercial software programs too. No one with a hardware router (providing NAT/firewall/SPI) needs a "full Internet Security suite". They just need this.

Midnight Mick said,
It will be interesting to see how good this really is compared to the other free security programs.
Definition updates, detection rates etc..

I look forward to testing it.


I would like to see a proper test of this, compared to all the good free versions out there, as well as the corporate versions, and not a microsoft "study" by one of Microsoft lackeys, like what we have had in the past for this, and for IE.

A full independent study. Hopefully Arstechnica will do one soon, they have a lot of computer knowledge, and produce in depth articles. It would be nice to see Neowin start to do stuff like this, rather than just linking to other peoples stories.