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and anti-spyware product that is set to replace Microsoft's paid Windows Live OneCare subscription service which was withdrawn earlier this year.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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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

powerade01 said,
Is it ok to install this with NOD32?

Nope, its an AV. So 2 AV's shouldn't be on the same system. I mean they can be, but its not recommended.

warwagon said,
Nope, its an AV. So 2 AV's shouldn't be on the same system. I mean they can be, but its not recommended.

True. Could I disable MSE's antivirus part and enable the malware detection part?

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.

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.

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.

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 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

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 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.

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?

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

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!

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