Final RTM version released as of 5pm today:
Virus, Spyware & Malware Protection | Microsoft Security Essentials
Cue predictable FUD from competitors:
Roger Thompson, chief research officer for AVG... wondered if MSE itself would become a target for malware writers who, if they manage to penetrate it, would potentially have a large pool of victims to target.
Last edited by AngryTechnician; 29th September 2009 at 05:42 PM. Reason: FUD from AVG
Some other early reactions:
[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Security_Essentials"]Wikipedia.Org.Uk[/ame]:Microsoft Security Essentials, the freeware security application from Microsoft, has only been available for download for a few hours and some of you have already been in touch wanting to know what I think the fallout will be from it.
A free antivirus applications isn’t a new thing, but a big player like Microsoft making a security application available for free is bound to cause waves. So, what is the likely fallout?
While publicly the major security vendors have been playing things cool, privately they are scrabbling to come up with a decent response.
The first response from the big security firms is likely to be a PR/white paper barrage telling us all how good their product is and how rubbish everyone else’s is, especially Microsoft’s.
Following that, I think that a price war is inevitable, although price is a weak point for anyone trying to sell a product when going up against Microsoft’s free offering. Still, looking at the price of security software nowadays, there’s plenty of wriggle room.
Innovation … you never know, this might be just the catalyst that the security industry needs to start innovating. I just hope it’s not innovation that leads to pointless bloat.
One area that Microsoft Security Essentials is likely to have an effect on is free antivirus. People who provide unpaid tech support for family and friends are likely to turn to Microsoft Security Essentials as a quick and easy way to provide protection. With Microsoft Security Essentials there’s no nag screens, toolbars, and other crapware to worry about.
Microsoft Security Essentials doesn’t affect the enterprise market at all, so no one is affected there.
Expect the security industry to start pushing “security suites” even harder than they do now. This could even be the end of the stand alone antivirus software as we know it.
Will Microsoft Security Essentials force some vendors to the wall? I doubt it.
arstechnica.com:MSE is a small-footprint program ideal for computers that lack processing power or broadband Internet connections, such as netbooks. It is geared for home use, unlike Microsoft's upcoming enterprise-oriented product Microsoft Forefront.
Symantec and McAfee, two competing antivirus vendors, responded with criticism, claiming MSE was not comparable with their own offerings. AVG Technologies viewed MSE positively, stating it reinforced the company's ideal of free antivirus software. Reviews were mostly positive, citing its organized interface, low resource usage, and the fact it is free.
Another, perhaps less positive, slant comes from PC Advisor:MSE has a surprising number of settings to work with. Considering the simplicity of the product, it's still very customizable. Power users enjoy having tons of features to tweak, and we think they'll be satisfied with the settings that can be changed in MSE. It doesn't offer as many options as some other security suites, but given its features, the settings that can be adjusted are exactly what one would expect.
An effective if somewhat slow utility, Microsoft Security Essentials is a solid contender in the free antivirus space. UPDATED September 29 2009.
Microsoft Security Essentials shows much promise. In our tests it was decent at detecting malware, particularly in proactive tests that simulate the handling of new, unknown malware. It took fourth place in our rankings of free antivirus software. The main drawback of the tool, due to launch on September 29, seemed to be its slow scan speed.
One thing we hope Microsoft will improve is Microsoft Security Essentials' relatively poky scan speed. It was the slowest in our on-access scan test, which judges how quickly scans run when you copy, open, or save files. The app's Dynamic Signature Service may account for some of that: When Security Essentials sees a potentially malicious file that doesn't match known malware, it contacts Microsoft servers for additional analysis. The feature likely affords greater protection owing to the use of the latest signatures online, but it may also introduce some delay if Security Essentials has to wait for a response.
Last edited by DaveP; 29th September 2009 at 09:47 PM.
The PCAdvisor review seems to contradict itself; they criticise the slow scan speed, but praise the fact the MSE uses very little in the way of RAM and CPU time... did they not make the connection?
Pretty much this really. I think I'll be using it myself in future as I don't really have a problem with malware but always use AV. It will save me 20 quid or whatever each year so it's all good news for me.One area that Microsoft Security Essentials is likely to have an effect on is free antivirus. People who provide unpaid tech support for family and friends are likely to turn to Microsoft Security Essentials as a quick and easy way to provide protection. With Microsoft Security Essentials there’s no nag screens, toolbars, and other crapware to worry about.
But is it 'free' for use on school computers rather than just on Home PCs?
Has anyone read the smallprint/EULA?
The Websense blog points out that several malicious sites are using SEO Poisoning to put links up on the Google search results for MSE.
Microsoft Security Essentials SEO Poisoning - Security Labs Alert
If you are after MSE, go directly to microsoft for it.
Am using MSE now on Windows 7 x64 - it seems quite quick.
It'll do until we get ForeFront out there
I'm slightly more interested in the Reg comment that mentions the eula, which seems a little invasive.
No other use is provided for in the licence agreement, and by my interpretation is therefore not allowed.You may install and use any number of copies of the software on your devices in your household for use by people who reside there or for use in your home-based small business.
We'll see how it's protection works out in practice, but I like MSE for the relatively small memory footprint and (can't believe I'm saying this given it's MS) the lack of bloat i.e. doesn't contain a zillion competitive features I don't want.
I am using this at the moment, i dont really use any Anti Virus (fool i know) as it just gets on my nerves if anything.. but i dont get any problems with malware etc and to be honest i dont really get viruses on my home pc because i am a good guy and dont go on dodgy sites hehe
Good news though, and it seems to work well
Thanks to TheAngryTechnician for prompting me - I went away to check what the 'official' line is for use in schools. The following answer is provided by the group responsible for releasing Security Essentials, so I believe is definitive!
“Microsoft Security Essentials is a product designed for home use and the license agreement allows users to install it on their home PC or home based business PCs.
So if you are asking if a school can install Microsoft Security Essentials on all its school PCs, that would be a violation of the license agreement and therefore is an unsupported scenario.
Moreover Microsoft Security Essentials does not provide any centralized management to manage all the PCs on the schools network, so it is really not the right solution for them.
The school should look at products like Forefront Client Security.”
There are some believe that because we don't forbid use in the licence, it should be allowed. I think the corollary is the reality - we don't allow it in the licence!
Although this is a licensing based answer, I think the reality is that you don't really want to cut corners on centralised management of anti-virus protection, because the risk it introduces is much more significant than any potential savings on a enterprise-ready anti-virus solution.
However, it is a good solution for staff and students to use at home - and which would have a knock-on benefit from you (if all your users had up-to-date virus protection on their home PCs)
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