Microsoft Security Essentials hits 4.0 [Update]

Microsoft Security Essentials, the company's free PC anti-virus and security software program, has been gaining more and more users and is becoming more popular worldwide. Microsoft launched the first version in September 2009. Recently, a third party report claims that the software was the most popular PC anti-virus program in North America and the second most popular in the world, behind Avast Free Anti-Virus.

Now it looks like Microsoft has quietly released version 4.0 of the software program. Neowin forum member +Mephistopheles posted up word of the new release in our forum earlier today. Other Neowin forum members have also reported getting the 4.0 update as well. However, there's no word on what has been added or changed in this new release.

We have emailed Microsoft to find our more information about Microsoft Security Essentials 4.0 and will report back if we hear anything from them. In the meantime, if you are a user of the program you might want to check to see if the 4.0 version is available to download. It's likely that Microsoft has set up a staggered update schedule worldwide so not everyone will be able to get the new update at the same time.

Update - Microsoft has sent over a note with their official word on what's been updated in Microsoft Security Essentials 4.0:

This update to Microsoft Security Essentials is part of the standard product update release cycle. This service update contains product enhancements to improve performance and user experience. We have improved on Microsoft Security Essentials’ Automatic Remediation, which will automatically quarantine highly harmful threats without prompting the user to take action as well as minor bug fixes in set up, malware remediation and other areas.

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28 Comments

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Im downloading it from the main site and seeing if that updates it.

Windows Update is disabled on my domain (Why? I have no idea)

Options for "Default actions", "Scheduled scan", "Limit CPU usage during scan to _ %", and some "Real time protection options" (Scan all downloads, Monitor file and program activity, Enable behavior monitoring") are missing/removed compared to MSE 3. YAY!

xpclient said,
Options for "Default actions", "Scheduled scan", "Limit CPU usage during scan to _ %", and some "Real time protection options" (Scan all downloads, Monitor file and program activity, Enable behavior monitoring") are missing/removed compared to MSE 3. YAY!

maybe thats all done more smartly and automatic now?

I'm still stuck on :
Security Essentials Version: 2.1.1116.0
Antimalware Client Version: 3.0.8402.0

Windows update isn't giving me the v4 update.

MorganX said,

I got it through update. I'm on x64. Maybe you tried too soon.

I got mine updated too via Windows Update. win7 home pro x64.

Civilian said,
I'm still stuck on :
Security Essentials Version: 2.1.1116.0
Antimalware Client Version: 3.0.8402.0

Windows update isn't giving me the v4 update.

Came through Windows Update for me too. Win7 Pro x64

I was wondering why MSE 4 looked familiar but couldn't put my finger on it. It's the look of Windows Defender on Windows 8!

"However, there's no word on what has been added or changed in this new release." -- It's more like what has been removed (real-time tweaks, anyone?).

msftconn@microsoft.com ✆
20:03 (1 hour ago)

to me
Dear Beta User,

Thank you for joining the Microsoft® Security Essentials Beta. We hope you have enjoyed using the Security Essentials Beta and found it easy to install and use.

The final release of the latest version of Microsoft Security Essentials has recently been released and the beta program will end on April 26th2012.

During the next days, participants who installed the Security Essentials Beta and are subscribed to automatic updates will be upgraded to the final release of the latest version of Microsoft Security Essentials after they agree to a new license agreement. If you would like to upgrade manually, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials [http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials]and click on the “Download Now” button. There is no need to uninstall before upgrading.For more information about automatic updates through Microsoft Update, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/windo...update/automaticupdate.mspx [http://www.microsoft.com/windo...update/automaticupdate.mspx].

Please note that in order to continue receiving technical support, you will need to upgrade or install the final version of Microsoft Security Essentials.

Thanks again for participating in the Microsoft Security Essentials Beta.

Best regards,

The Microsoft Security Essentials Team

Experienced way too many viruses in the wild that it let through that were picked up by Eset and Symantec. Thanks, but no thanks. Based on the recent reviews, it's virus catching capability is no where near what they imply you to assume based on their advertising.

zim2323 said,
Experienced way too many viruses in the wild that it let through that were picked up by Eset and Symantec. Thanks, but no thanks. Based on the recent reviews, it's virus catching capability is no where near what they imply you to assume based on their advertising.

Right. Like Reloaded or Skidrow cracks? Damn them to hell.

TDT said,

Right. Like Reloaded or Skidrow cracks? Damn them to hell.

I've seen many infected machine with MSE on them also. I had to quit installing on machines because I'd have to work on them sooner or later. Switched back to Avira.

zim2323 said,
Experienced way too many viruses in the wild that it let through that were picked up by Eset and Symantec. Thanks, but no thanks. Based on the recent reviews, it's virus catching capability is no where near what they imply you to assume based on their advertising.

Most PCs of friends and neighbors that I have had to clean up after a virus infection had some form of Symantec product on it. I'm not saying Symantec is a bad product, but the problem is that people ignore the warnings and don't upgrade their subscriptions and end up with a virus or malware. I usually install MSE simply because it doesn't expire and it does a good enough job.

This should actually be v3.0 or it's just yet another entirely pointless version number leap.
Either that or the developers are in some way innumerate.

DJGM said,
This should actually be v3.0 or it's just yet another entirely pointless version number leap.
Either that or the developers are in some way innumerate.

Wouldn't be any different than Mozilla and Google doing the same thing now with Firefox/Chrome.

DJGM said,
This should actually be v3.0 or it's just yet another entirely pointless version number leap.
Either that or the developers are in some way innumerate.

What you remember as v2.0, if you checked the About window showed it ran...

Antimalware Client Version: 3.0.8402.0

MSE basically has two parts, the virus and malware parts one of which was at v3.0.

If you look at the above screenshot the first two versions are now the same, 4.0.

Possession said,

Wouldn't be any different than Mozilla and Google doing
the same thing now with Firefox/Chrome.


Actually it would. Mozilla and Google are releasing Firefox and Chrome every 6 weeks,
and increasing the version numbers by one each time. They're not missing out major
version numbers, especially since each new version is really only a minor update.

The last time a major software product bypassed version numbers for good reasons
was way back in 2000, when Netscape bypassed v5 altogether, since all the old code
that Mozilla.org had inherited from Netscape Communicator was a convoluted mess
and was scrapped entirely to make way for the Gecko/XUL Mozilla suite, which then
formed the basis of Netscape 6 and 7 ... nowadays, SeaMonkey and Firefox.

As for MSE, I'm using the corporate version ... Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010.

"update contains product enhancements to improve performance and user experience"
Classic MS words. Means "just bug fixes".

Considering the great job it does at the moment on my machines, I am more than happy for them to continue doing what they're doing.

We have improved on Microsoft Security Essentials' Automatic Remediation, which will automatically quarantine highly harmful threats without prompting the user to take action

oh dear - "sorry" it was an accident that we automatically deleted Norton Internet security, and Adobe's Flash or Sun's Open Office - really - trust us - we would do that deliberately!