Today, Microsoft released new FREE Anti-virus and malware protection software called Security Essentials. Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is a real-time anti-virus scanner that anyone can download for free and use for personal use. You can use Security Essentials with any computer running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 (both 32-bit and 64-bit). So far, Microsoft Security Essentials has been getting good reviews for detecting viruses with the product.
With that said, I downloaded and installed a copy of MSE to a computer running Windows 7 Beta. It was super easy to install, and the initial virus scan of my computer took only a few minutes. In the past I've always used Norton Internet Security for protecting my computer, and while it's done a good job of protection, every year I have to buy the new version. And every year, something always goes wrong when installing the new version of Norton Internet Security (NIS). So at this point, I totally welcome Microsoft Security Essentials with open arms for being free and for being simple to use. Let's just hope Security Essentials virus and spyware protection is more than adequete at protecting computers from infection.
UPDATE 11/10/09: It's been a little over a month since I made the switch to MSFT Security Essentials (MSE) and got rid of Norton Internet Security, and I gotta say I really I'm loving MSE. Ever since I uninstalled Norton Internet Security 2009 from my Windows Vista computer and installed MSE, I'm no longer having frozen PC problems (IE "Not Responding"). So as long as Microsoft Security Essentials continues to run as smoothly as it has so far, while protecting my computer, I won't go back to buying Norton products ever again. :-)
To download a copy of Microsoft Security Essentials go to their site here: http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/
To read a full review of Microsoft Security Essentials be sure to check out Windows Expert - Paul Thurrott's review of MSE here: http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/mse.asp
About Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.
Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.