Microsoft Security Essentials beta to be capped at 75,000, kicks off today

Microsoft Security Essentials beta to be capped at 75,000, kicks off today

Summary: Just a quick reminder: Microsoft plans to allow the public to download a beta version of "Morro," now known as Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) on June 23, starting around 9 a.m. PT. Here are the particulars for those interested in testing the free antivirus/anti-malware offering.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Security

Just a quick reminder: Microsoft plans to allow the public to download a beta version of "Morro," now known as Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) on June 23, starting around 9 a.m. PT.

Update (8 a.m. PT): The beta download is now live. Or maybe not. It was for a minute, there....

MSE is the free antivirus/anti-malware product that is replacing Microsoft's paid Windows Live OneCare subscription service. It is aimed primarily at users who can't or won't pay for security software.

Here are the details about today's beta kick-off:

Who is eligible: Anyone in the U.S., Israel or Brazil who wants to try MSE on XP SP2, Vista or Windows 7 (Beta or Release Candidate) can grab the beta. Last week, Microsoft officials told me there was no cap planned for the beta, but  shortly thereafter a spokesperson said the beta will be capped at 75,000. "This could change though depending on what the download scenario is," he added.

Download site: Testers will be able to download MSE beta from Microsoft Connect by going to this page:

Versions: The MSE beta will be available in 32- and 64-bit flavors. It will be available in English and Brazilian Portuguese on June 23 and simplified Chinese some time later this year. Update: The beta is restricted by country. The beta site says: "This beta is available only to customers in the United States, Israel (English only), People's Republic of China (Simplified Chinese only) and Brazil (Brazilian Portuguese only)."

How long will the beta be available: Microsoft plans to keep the beta open until the cap is reached or the final product is available, whichever comes first.

When is the final MSE release due: Official word is before the end of calendar 2009. I've seen several bloggers saying this fall.

If you're among the testers who grab a copy of today's beta of MSE, I'd be interested in hearing what you think. How does MSE compare to other free and paid third-party security offerings and Windows Live OneCare?

Topics: Microsoft, Security


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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  • Only 1:46 mins. to go then !

    So 5.00PM UK time (GMT and summer time hour).
    Might watch a bit of Wimbledon in the meantime.

    Maybe MJF should record the next podcast with the guys from El Reg in ... London.

    Could check out UK software prices for M$ products at the same time, see whether Foyles has any good publications in stock, scope what computers they have along Tottenham Court Road ... or in Harrods ;-)

    Just a thought.

    Ah, champagne and strawberries nearly cool enough now. Gotta go.

    HAND (have a nice day/download)
  • Simple with substance

    What I like most about Microsoft Security Essentials apart from being free is the focus on simplicity with substance. The interface features a clean, well organized design that's easy to work with and maintain. Integration with Windows technologies like Security Center in XP/Vista and Action Center in Windows 7 will provide the cohesive experience that users expect from security utilities such as this. When combined with Windows 7's rich suite of security technologies already built in such as UAC, DEP, Patch Guard, Safe Unlinking and ASLR, users will certainly enjoy an even more complete security experience. Its early days yet, but Microsoft is doing something I believe that's right for both Windows and its user base. Personally, I wouldn't mind if Windows came with a program like Security Essentials already built in. With a strong brand identity behind it and I am sure strong marketing, this will encourage users to ensure that their Windows PC is protected.
    Mr. Dee
    • Love, Steve B.

      "Strong Brand identity" = the company that brought you Vista Ultimate - remember those extras?

      "I am sure strong marketing" = the company that brought you M$ Bob, the WOW that was VISTA and resurrected Seinfeld.

      "Personally, I wouldn't mind if Windows came with a program like Security Essentials already built in."
      Bloatware, how about 'Windows came with security built in.' Nah, never catch on, no (shareholder) value in that puppy.

      Did you swallow a marketing manual, or what?
      • In fact ...

        Microsoft DIDN'T bring you Bob - it was an experiment into alternative user experiences.

        You clearly could do with reading a few marketing texts: Microsoft has a VERY strong brand identity ... which has nothing at all to do with Ultimate Extras. Whilst I agree with you that it was a shame that they didn't ship any extras, I am not going to lose any sleep over the fact.

        I agree that WinXP is a security disaster. However, Vista and now Win7 have equalled, if not surpassed the level of security enjoyed by *N*X for some time. At least one can't say that MS doesn't learn and adapt.
    • I agree, this is a step in the right direction

      Until someone makes a desktop OS that is impervious to malware (and no one has), AV is good for the "Oh... damn... what did I just do?" moments. I would never rely on AV though, far better to run as a restricted rights user (been doing that for 9 years on Windows), make sure you have some form of firewall enabled, and use a browser with some form of protection built into it. IE on Vista / Win 7 is good, Firefox with NoScript is okay, Safari is the worst (security wise).
  • RE: Microsoft Security Essentials beta to be capped at 75,000, kicks off today

    I keep getting

    The invitation you are using belongs to another registered account. If you believe you received this message in error, please try using another Windows Live ID/Passport account or contact for additional assistance.

    Anyone else getting that error as soon as you sign into your Live account on Microsoft Connect?
    • Never Mind

      Never mind, 10 minutes later and it works--guess it was Stupid User Error. =)
  • Perfect timing - just downloaded it on brand new Vaio with Win7 64bit

    Just got it and installed it. Links are live.

    Just got my brand new Sony Vaio Z 13" with 6GB RAM, 320 GB HDD today and needed Security Software so perfect timing!

    Win7 64bit, now with Morro and Office 2010 Tech Preview on this 1.48kg Vaio just rocks! I am a geek in heaven. :)

    See it here -
    • That is a beautiful machine, although...

      ... I don't like the Apple-like chicklet keyboard.

      Take off Viista bloatware, put Linux on it and I'll bet it will really rock...
      Wintel BSOD
      • Really rock? At doing what?

        It sounds to me like his machine is already rocking ... he's clearly delighted with running Win7 along with his library of existing software, games, tools and utilities.

        And he didn't have to go and jump through hoops to find, compile and install some port of a patch of a driver for something or other that isn't included in the main distro'.

        Some of us enjoy getting on with our lives. Others like you enjoy playing with your OS.

        Live and let live, I say.
        • Well since it's Win7

          And not Viista, I'll forgive him.

          Wintel BSOD
          • That's interesting ...

            ... because I've been running Vista on > 9 machines (work & home) and have been helping various family members get Vista on their machines too.

            WITHOUT exception, Vista has been 95% problem free on EVERY one of those machines THAT I INSTALLED. My father in law's Sony laptop was installed with a HORRIBLE Vista image buried under mountains of crapware. Once that was remedied (clean install sans crapware) it was a whole new machine.

            The only issues we really saw was when my Mother In Law's favorite writing app wouldn't run without admin rights - the developer was writing app settings to the HKLM portion of the registry. All offending apps were quickly fixed/patched shortly after RTM and even x64 drivers quickly appeared. My biggest gripe was that it took Line6 SO LONG to get their x64 drivers built and released.

            So whilst Vista was absolutely fine, Win7 has been nothing but stellar. Light, fast, responsive, it gave a new lease on life to several previously mothballed machines and is a joy to use.

            Can't wait for RTM and one last upgrade/install-fest (for a while at least) :)
          • I'm willing to give Win7 a fair shake

            I haven't used it yet, so I can't really comment on the user experience part.

            However, I will have to find new hacks for it like defeating DRM, WGA (or whatever they call it in Win7) and anything that gets in the way of my fair use rights.

            It better run faster than that overweight POS I bought in 2007.
            Wintel BSOD
          • Why would you need to hack WGA?

            If you purchased Windows 7 there would be no need for you to defeat WGA. Unless you have no plans on actually paying for Windows 7?
          • Because I don't need to prove myself to M$

            ...over and over again. I don't need to be pinging their authentication servers constantly.

            They're just gonna have to trust me, that's all.
            Wintel BSOD
          • Why do they have to trust you?

            You don't trust MS, why should they trust you? Don't pay for their products if you don't agree to their terms. There, that was easy!
          • @AnythingButViista:

            First, DRM and WGA are two entirely different things:

            WGA == Genuine Windows. This is a mechanism that ensures that you're using Windows within the terms of the EULA that you must explicitly accept before you install and use ANY product, be it Windows, OSX or even Linux. EULA's are a fact of life and determine the way in which you can use the product. If you don't agree with the EULA then don't install the product.

            FWIW, once you've activated your copy of Windows, it doesn't "phone home". Only if you reinstall or change your motherboard/CPU/network chips etc., will you need to reactivate. That's not much of a burden to help prevent those mooching off your purchase of Windows.

            DRM is a mechanism that allows someone who owns the rights to a given piece of content (from a file containing a Word document to a movie to music) to determine how that file can be used/shared, etc. It is a mechanism put in place by the big media companies and MS implemented in Windows to comply with the required laws in order to allow you to watch your media in accordance with the terms specified by the content owner. If you don't like the DRM restrictions, go complain to your government or media owner.
          • Well, get ready then...

            Windows 7 requires that you "phone home" daily. Each day that you turn on your PC, you are required to enter in your product activation code.

            Don't even get me started on the DRM.... Woooh


            Do you even know what is going on with those things? WGA requires that you enter in a product activation code when installing the OS, unless you have some hefty hardware changes, you'll never have to input that code again.

            As for the DRM, all that happens, is the computer check to see if the pathway from your video adapter to the screen is protected.

            That's really draconian isn't it?
            The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Vaio FTW, Quality hardware/ super slick design/ stunning display

      ..i have a FW series laptop that is running great for over an year and half. And mine is even made in japan (i`ve also seen P series models that are Made in japan).

      + your model is made of carbon fiber, something you don`t see everyday in laptops, most are : plastic or aluminium.

      + they also come with Adobe Premier Elements And Adobe Photoshop Elements, which are better than iLife at video/photo editing.
    • Sweet deal

      I confess myself to be jealous. Can't wait to build a new rig once AMD gives us R890 chipsets and 800 Southbridge motherboards. Throw on a cheap Phen2 955 with unlocked multi and I'll be in overclock heaven with Win 7.

      "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."