Round Two: Download Next Generation Microsoft Security Essentials In Beta

image Microsoft Security Essentials, which incorporates antivirus, antispyware and rootkit protection, all under one roof, was released by Microsoft last year as a free  replacement application for Windows Live OneCare. MSE was initially released in June 2009 in Beta, which was replaced by the final release in September 2009.

Microsoft has just released a Beta for the second generation Security Essentials, which includes a number of substantial additional features (see the following), and thankfully, a faster engine.

Note: This is a limited beta available in English (U.S.), Israel, and Brazilian Portuguese (the beta will also be available in China in Simplified Chinese later this year), and is available to genuine Windows users on a first come, first serve basis, until the allotted spots for the beta have been reached.

What’s New in the Microsoft Security Essentials beta?

This Beta version of Microsoft Security Essentials includes these new features and enhancements to better help protect your computer from threats.

Windows Firewall integration: Microsoft Security Essentials setup allows you to turn on Windows Firewall.

Enhanced protection from web-based threats: Microsoft Security Essentials has enhanced integration with Internet Explorer which helps prevent malicious scripts from running and provides improved protection against web based attacks.

New and improved protection engine: The updated engine offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities and better performance.

Installation was not straight forward. Since I was running the final release as my primary AV, the installer attempted to perform an upgrade. Bad idea! It simply did not work, and caused some cleanup issues I had to deal with.

After cleaning up the mess, I uninstalled the prior version using my trusty Revo Uninstaller, and then did a successful clean install rather than an upgrade.

I heard it through the grapevine that I’m not alone in having run into this upgrade issue. So, if you have MSE installed, uninstall first, and then perform a clean install of the new Beta.


This new Microsoft Security Essentials Beta just like the final release is easy to set up and run, (on a clean install), particularly for new users. And, the interface is positively simple offering Quick Scan, Full Scan, or Custom Scan.

A simple command interface:


A simple scan result screen – in this case a “clean” result:


A simple settings/options screen. If you have been running the generation one final version, you find a number of impressive changes here.


Overall impressions:

Microsoft Security Essentials, including this Beta release, is a no cost viable alternative to overhyped, and often overpriced, more familiar security applications.

A simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface makes Microsoft Security Essentials straightforward to setup, customize, and run, for both less experienced and expert users alike.

Microsoft Security Essentials is a first class security application; fast, efficient, and effective – particularly with the additional features in the Beta release.

Provides full real time protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Very few “free” security applications, provide full real time protection which makes such an application valuable, only as an on-demand secondary scanner.

The second generation Beta, is definitely worth a close look.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Vista x64, Win 7, Win 7 x64.

Download at: The Microsoft Connect Page (registration required).

Windows XP users: Please note that the network inspection system feature will not be enabled on Windows XP. The network inspection system requires the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) in order to run, and WFP is available only in Windows Vista and Windows 7. However, if you are running Windows XP, you can still use all other beta features.

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Filed under Beta Software, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Microsoft, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

9 responses to “Round Two: Download Next Generation Microsoft Security Essentials In Beta

  1. Jose

    Thanks for this review, I’ve been googling around but found nothing as through.
    Tell me one thing: is it stable? Did you notice some sort of buggy behavior?

    • Hi Jose,

      Well, I’ve only been running it for a day or so, but no, I haven’t seen any instability. I ran the previous Beta for several months with no problems, and I’m hopeful MS has done as good a job with this Beta. As I stated though, going the upgrade path was a non-starter for me. A pain in the butt, really. 🙂


  2. Jose

    “A pain in the butt, really”
    Laughs. I’ll learn from your pains.
    As you I had the first Beta since June 2009 and it was quite stable.
    I never went back to another AV. I really like MSE’s simplicity.
    And it works well together with other apps like Online Armor or ThreatFire.
    I’ll install it tonight, thanks for the answer.

  3. Liam O' Moulain

    I followed your advice on this and Installed the Beta. I like the new features – pretty impressive!

    Thanks Bill.

  4. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Personally, I don’t like using Beta products. But I will be downloading this new version of MSE once it is final. Like Jose, I like it’s simplicity and it is very effective against all the crap out there. It runs well alongside Threatfire, another must have in my opinion. And it’s free. What else can a person ask for?

    As I said yesterday, it nabbed a trojan for me, although I was in Sandboxie. I’d been on the webpage probably two seconds when I got the warning, impressive.


    • Hey Mal,

      You’re right of course, Beta’s can go off like an IED – with a big bang!

      I’m currently running two Microsoft Betas – Office 2010 (6 months no probs), and now MSE. I ran the original MSE while it was in Beta and was impressed with its stability – absolutely no problems. I’m trusting that MS has done the same kind of job with this new Beta. One can never be sure, but….

      As always I appreciate your high level input.



  5. g

    Hi Bill,

    I recently installed MSE on all of my computers and can’t say enough great things. On two computers, it actually found some nasties that my previous (avira) av and malwarebytes failed to find. I haven’t yet installed the beta and probably won’t but I highly encourage your readers to at least install MSE.

    • Hey G,

      Just finished a full scan with the Beta – 1,400,000+ items checked on two HDs in just over an hour. This is ten minutes, or so, faster than the original. Not bad.

      Thanks for the support on this – much appreciated.