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Microsoft to Launch Free Security Essentials Software Today



Microsoft’s somewhat controversial (at least in security software makers’ minds) free security software is scheduled to launch some time today. The Security Essentials package will be available for a download at some point later this morning.  Security Essentials replaces Microsoft’s Windows Live OneCare. Microsoft is pitching this as a basic package to protect against malware that consumes less resources than other solutions. Of course the makers of those other solutions say this won’t do the job. It will be available at this link once Microsoft flips the switch.

Press release after the jump.

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 28, 2009 — Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Corp.’s new no-cost, core anti-malware service that helps protect consumers against viruses, spyware and other malicious software, will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 29. Microsoft Security Essentials, independently certified by West Coast Labs, is backed by the company’s global security response team and is built on the same award-winning core security technology found in the company’s security solutions for businesses. It requires no registration, trials or renewals and will be available for download directly from Microsoft at

“Consumers have told us that they want the protection of real-time security software but we know that too many are either unwilling or unable to pay for it, and so end up unprotected,” said Amy Barzdukas, general manager for consumer security at Microsoft. “With Microsoft Security Essentials, consumers can get high-quality protection that is easy to get and easy to use — and it won’t get in their way.”

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 making Microsoft Security Essentials easy to get and easy to use, Microsoft hopes to encourage broader adoption of anti-virus protection across the consumer audience, which in turn will help increase security across the entire Windows ecosystem. For business customers, Microsoft continues to offer Forefront Client Security, providing centralized, comprehensive management and reporting capabilities.

Maximum Security, Minimum Resource Requirements

Microsoft Security Essentials is designed to run quietly in the background alerting users only when there is an action for them to take. It also limits CPU and memory usage, resulting in less impact on the tasks consumers perform every day such as opening documents or browser windows or loading search results, even on older or less powerful PCs. Microsoft Security Essentials uses real-time protection to help prevent PCs from becoming infected, and it is the first Microsoft security product to make use of the company’s new Dynamic Signature Service, a technology that helps ensure users stay protected by the most current virus definitions available without having to wait for the next scheduled download.

“Microsoft is focused on 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,” said Jon Crotty, security analyst at IDC. “With Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft is helping to reduce some of the barriers that constrain consumers from running AV.”

Microsoft Security Essentials will be available for Windows XP SP2 or SP3, Windows Vista and Windows 7 including Windows XP mode on both x32 and x64 PCs.

Microsoft Security Essentials will be available in eight languages and 19 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. More information about Microsoft Security Essentials and the product download is available at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at



  1. sbtablet

    09/29/2009 at 7:07 am

    I hope somebody at GBM will be trying it out and reporting on their experience. I’m particularly interested in how this stacks up to other freeware out there in the size of its footprint, the quality of the interface, user configurability and features.

  2. Mark (K0LO)

    09/29/2009 at 7:32 pm

    I was going to post a mini-review of MS Security Essentials on the GBM forum but it seems that image uploading isn’t working at the moment. As soon as the forum is fixed, I’ll post an article.

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