You will recall that 11 months ago Microsoft announced that we would be discontinuing the OneCare consumer product, and that we would, instead, develop and release a no-cost, core antimalware solution for consumers. Making Microsoft Security Essentials broadly available as a free consumer download for genuine Windows-based PCs is part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to provide a more trustworthy computing experience for all customers. By addressing the challenges that prevent consumers from running up-to-date anti-virus software today, particularly in emerging markets where there is a growing prevalence of malware and online payment vehicles like credit cards are not widely available, we hope to encourage broader adoption of anti-virus protection across the consumer audience, which in turn will help increase security across the entire Windows ecosystem.
Microsoft Security Essentials has been in beta since June, has already been certified by West Coast Labs and has passed local AV assessments in China with flying colors. Market response has been positive to date, highlighting both the ease of use and performance of the product as well as the offering’s benefit for consumers who would otherwise be unlikely to obtain anti-virus coverage.
- High Quality: Microsoft Security Essentials provides high-quality consumer protection from viruses, spyware and other malicious software. It is built on Microsoft’s award-winning anti-virus engine used in Defender, Forefront, OneCare and the Malicious Software removal tool. At launch, Microsoft Security Essentials will carry an independent certification by West Coast Labs with ICSA certification coming a few weeks post release.
- Easy: Microsoft Security Essentials is easy to get and easy to use. Because it is free, there is no registration process to collect billing or other personal information. Microsoft Security Essentials has an intuitive user interface with single-click action based alerts so users don’t need to guess what they need to do to keep their PC secure.
- Doesn’t get in the way: Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly in the background interrupting the user only when there is an action required. It employs active memory swapping and CPU throttling techniques to limit the impact on PC performance, even on older or less powerful PCs.
~300K beta users around the world participated in the Beta of Microsoft Security Essentials in English, Brazilian Portuguese and Simplified Chinese.
You can find additional product information and download Microsoft Security Essentials for your test or home PCs at http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/. It will run on XPSP2 and above, Windows Vista and Windows 7 including XP mode. Microsoft Security Essentials is available as a direct download from http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/.