Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Morro, aka Microsoft Security Essentials Beta

You may have heard rumors lately about “Morro,” the new no-cost anti-malware solution being launched by Microsoft. Now called “Microsoft Security Essentials,” the program will launch into a limited beta today at www.microsoft.com/security_essentials. The first 75,000 visitors to that site will have the opportunity to download and install the new software for free. (This will be available in English to the U.S. and Israel and in Brazilian Portuguese in Brazil.)

For those wanting to run Microsoft Security Essentials, you’ll need to have either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows XP SP2 or higher, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. The software will not come pre-installed on the Windows 7 OS so you will still have a choice as to which anti-malware program they want to run. However, it will be made available as a download (but not through Windows Update) for those looking for a free and trustworthy solution which you can run without worrying about registration or renewals. Security Essentials users will also have access to free community and email support.

The security features in the new software include real-time protection, a dynamic signature service, and rootkit protection. If an infection is found, users will be prompted to fix it by pressing an action button which will appear on the screen. The process is designed to be a “one-click fix” so it’s extremely easy for anyone to use.

The program has also been made lightweight so as not to slow down your system as many anti-virus software applications have done in the past. To accomplish this, it implements features like CPU throttling, idle-time scanning, smart caching, and active memory swapping. Those last two make it so that signatures not in use don’t take up space in the available memory, a feature which makes Microsoft Security Essentials ideal for older PCs as well as today’s less powerful netbooks.

You can learn more about Microsoft Security essentials here.

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