Final Microsoft Security Essentials due in 'a few weeks'

Final Microsoft Security Essentials due in 'a few weeks'

Summary: Microsoft is preparing to end its Microsoft Security Essential (MSE) beta and release the final version of the program "in the coming weeks," company officials told testers on September 20.


Microsoft is preparing to end its Microsoft Security Essential (MSE) beta and release the final version of the program "in the coming weeks."

From the note Microsoft sent to its beta participants:

"The final version of Microsoft Security Essentials will be released to the public in the coming weeks. If you are running the older version of the beta (1.0.1407.0), we encourage you to upgrade to a newer version of the beta (1.0.1500.0)."

MSE, codenamed "Morro," is the replacement for Windows Live OneCare and a superset of Windows Defender. Microsoft officials have said it is meant for consumers who are unwilling or unable to pay for security software. More than 400,000 testers are believed to have downloaded the test version of MSE.

Microsoft execs have begun attempting to differentiate MSE from the company's Forefront Client product, a new version of which is due out in the beginning of 2010.

I asked Microsoft a few questions from my readers recently about Forefront and how it compares and contrasts with MSE. Here are a few of them, with answers provided by a Microsoft spokesperson:

Reader: Is Forefront Client supported only available for managed environments -- and requires the purchase of a management console ($ 2,468/server/year!)?

Microsoft: Forefront Client Security is supported in an unmanaged environment. In fact, we have many customers who have licensed FCS and deployed it in an unmanaged manner.  A good example of this is the Egyptian Ministry of Education Furthermore, when the Forefront Protection Manager is released next year, it will be offered to customers for free when they buy Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010.

As a reminder, Forefront Client Security (the next version Forefront Endpoint Protection) is part of Forefront Protection Suite –  an integrated, centrally managed enterprise security suite for protection across client, server, messaging, and network edge, all part of the Business Ready Security strategy.

Reader: Forefront Client Security IS NOT supported on a domain controller at all (neither client, nor server components); nor on a virtual machine host (neither client, nor server components); nor on a Terminal server/gateway machine (neither client, nor server components). It is only supported on servers that have ONLY the file server role installed. So how can MS say this is a SMB solution?

Microsoft: Forefront Client Security (client agent) is supported on different server roles including domain controller, hyper-v environment and servers running terminal services.  Latest information on supported platforms for client and server installation is provided here:

Reader: Will Microsoft continue to preload Windows Defender on Windows machines with Windows 7? Or is the expectation we will have to buy Forefront client?

Microsoft: Yes, defender is part of Win7.

Reader: How can this be this true? Microsoft Security Essentials is NOT supported for businesses of any kind.  Not only that, but it is licensed for consumer use only, and carries similar license wording to Office Home & Student.

Microsoft: Microsoft Security Essentials is designed for home use. It requires no registration, trials or renewals and will be available for download directly from Microsoft. Microsoft continues to offer security solutions for businesses with the Forefront line of products as part of its Business Ready Security strategy . However Microsoft Security Essentials may be a good solution for small home offices with only a few individually managed PCs.

Any other questions you have on either MSE or Forefront client? Fire away and I'll try to get some more Microsoft answers.

Topics: Security, Hardware, Microsoft, Servers


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • I got my email last night

    I'm not really surprised by this, I halfway expected it to be finished by Windows 7's GA.

    Eitherway, I Can't wait to see what they have done with it.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • MSE

    I wish Microsoft Security Essentials and the Microsoft
    Managed Services Engine didn't share the same acronym...
    • One's MSE and the other's MMSE...

      So they don't share the same acronym - they're just very similar. Then there's MSDE. :)
  • RE: Final Microsoft Security Essentials due in 'a few weeks'

    Is MSE an anti-virus software only, to fill the gap left
    by Windows Defender's anti-spyware functions?
    • Anti-virus "only"

      What else do you expect it to contain?

      Firewall? Windows already has one.
      Anti-virus? Yep.
      Anti-malware? Yep.

      What else am I missing?
      • It should fix my breakfast

        and change the oil in my car. Does it do this? NO!
        Michael Alan Goff
  • MSE for a slow internet connection???

    I was drawn to MSE because I am looking for a anti-virus solution for my poor friends in Africa who pay per minute for incredibly slow internet connections. It would take hours to download some companies virus updates. Incredibly frustrating when you just want to get online to check one thing and your computer goes comotose until its done. But you need the anti-virus, because fixing an infected computer with slow internet is even worse. Will Microsoft Security Essentials address this kind of problem? I saw that it was created with those older computers in mind, but did they take into consideration the slow internet connection many of those older computers have??