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Posted by on Oct 1, 2009 in Greg, Technology | 1 comment

Microsoft Release Free Anti-Virus Application

Microsoft, that big old meany of a profit grabbing company, has released a FREE beta version of it’s new anti-virus application to an initial limited market. The application, still in beta state and called Microsoft Security Essentials, is available for download now to users in the following initial countries: 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.

Which doesn’t really help those of us in this part of the world, now does it?

Fortunately, the good folk over at SoftPedia have a version available on their servers which you can download, regardless of where you are. The small (4MB) download installs perfectly, and then connects to the net in order to upgrade itself and to install the latest virus definition files. Again, these are quick and painless.

The free software has a very small footprint, and does not seem to have any negative effect on the performance of the machine whilst it runs in the background to provide “Real-Time Protection”. Even running a full system scan whilst working on the machine did not seem to cause any noticeable slow down of the running applications or open processes. This in comparison to a full scan by AVG which pretty much renders my machine useless when it runs.

User reviews of the applications’ accuracy and screening abilities seem fairly positive, and initial reports suggest that MS have hit on a very positive all-round package.

image The very simple user interface for Security Essentials is another big plus. Clear, easy to understand layout, just four tabs with limited settings and options to confuse the average user, and an easy to set-up scheduler all combine to make this a pretty useful and worthwhile application. Together with its’ non-existent price tag it’s hard to believe that this is a genuine Microsoft application.

If you don’t run any anti-virus application, or if your subscription to a paid service has lapsed or expired, we’d recommend that you give Microsoft Security Essentials a try. You no longer have an excuse to be doing the PC thing without protection!

Once installed and updated, run a Full Scan – the results may surprise you. And, if you do try it, drop us a note into the Comments below to let us know how it went for you.

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