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Microsoft set to beta Microsoft Security Essentials June 23

Microsoft confirmed today that they plan to release a public beta of Microsoft Security Essentials (formerly codenamed Morro) on June 23.

The free anti-virus product will begin with a beta program next week and an updated beta version over the summer period. Company officials also confirmed that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) will be launching in fall this year. We have learned that Microsoft is targeting September or at the latest to have the anti-virus software available for the October 22 Windows 7 launch.

Formerly known as Morro, the software giant plans to replace its Windows Live OneCare offerings with MSE later in the year. Microsoft will discontinue retail sales of OneCare on June 30 so you won't be able to purchase it in store after that date, but consumers will still be able to purchase the product after 30 June directly from Microsoft.

The beta will be available next Tuesday in limited form, Microsoft is targeting it at the first 75,000 US, Israel and Brazil based customers. A Chinese beta will be available in mid July. Similar to the Windows 7 beta it is likely the company will expand the offering to meet demand.

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