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.
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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