New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

Summary: Microsoft has released a beta of a new version of its free Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) anti-virus/anti-malware client.

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Earlier this month, the Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) team put out a call for testers interested in test-driving a new version of Microsoft's free anti-virus/anti-malware client. On November 29, those testers were notified that the new MSE beta bits were ready for download from the Microsoft Connect site.

MSE is is based on the same engine that its paid Forefront Endpoint Security product uses. MSE is free and was developed expressly for users who either couldn't or wouldn't pay for antivirus/anti-malware software. There has been no registration required, no trials with an expiration date or required renewals for previous MSE releases but only works on PCs running Genuine Windows (which has been authenticated as non-pirated).

The coming version of MSE includes the following features:

Automatic malware remediation: “The Beta will clean high-impact malware infections automatically, with no required user interaction,” according to Microsoft.

Enhanced performance: “The Beta includes many performance improvements to make sure your PC performance isn’t negatively impacted,” the Softies have said. Simplified UI: The interface of the beta easier to use, officials have promised.. New and improved protection engine: “The updated engine offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities,” according to the company.

The new MSE will work on PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3); Windows Vista (Service Pack 1, or Service Pack 2); and Windows 7 (Service Pack 1). It will work with Internet Explorer (IE) 6 or higher, or Mozilla's Firefox 2.0 or higher.

Microsoft officials have not specified a date as to when the final version of this MSE release will be available.

(Thanks to blogger Steven Bink for the information on the MSE beta release.)

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Malware, Microsoft, Security, Software, Windows

About

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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28 comments
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  • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

    Does it really require Windows 7 to have Service Pack 1 to work?

    I think antivirus programs and other malware detection/prevention or repair programs need to stop asking the person questions on what they want to do. I took in a laptop last night that the customer literally approved the trojan virus when MSE warned her and said it could remove it. Her machine was instantly compromised and was surprised by what happened. When I asked her why she changed the default action from remove to approve she said because she wanted to see what the program her friend sent her was all about. I told her it was all about a bad trojan virus that is what it was about.
    bobiroc
    • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

      @bobiroc
      I wish they'd just have two separate downloads for MSE. One as you describe (for normal users where it just automatically stops viruses without bothering the basic user) and the other for "advanced users" who want notifications and choices (like me).
      Edesw88
      • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

        @Edesw88

        I think MSE is better than most when it comes to the annoying warnings but still people will be people and disregard security for the sake of their personal entertainment or if they think they can get something for free. I have yet to see a Windows based computer since XP SP2 that the source of the infection cannot be traced to something the user of the computer did to let the infection in beyond a reasonable doubt.

        Thankfully this computer had Windows 7 and all I had to do is run a System restore to undo the changes the infection made by hiding virtually everything and causing the redirects and apps not to load and then run a few scanners to clean up any residue from the malware.
        bobiroc
      • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

        @Edesw88 Advanced users can properly manage 3rd party anti-virus software, free or paid. And don't forget that Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool runs silently on one's PC every patch Tuesday. It would appear that the MSRT model is to be used for MSE in the future.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

      @bobiroc im wondering abt the service pack 1 thing too isnt xp sp 3 older than w7 with no sp?

      anyway the reason i commented on this post my sister and her friends do the same crap then come to ask me why their computer is acting weird.

      i have to keep up with their computer regularly to make sure it hasnt been comprimised
      dresky - take out ya nerd sticks and lets nerd fap
      • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

        @dresky

        I can sympathize. Between me and my brother we have a nice handful of machines that we have to manage amongst our family and friends. I have resorted to making some of my family use a standard user account for everyday use and only use the admin account sparingly. Of course most of them use the admin account all the time but I tried.
        bobiroc
      • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

        @dresky - take out ya nerd sticks and lets nerd fap

        My girlfriend has had her laptop (Win7 64 HP) for a year now, and I can proudly say that she hasn't acquired a virus yet. Mind you, this is the same woman that I watched infect an entire small business network when I first met her...lol (honestly)

        The reason? The threat of delayed repair. Don't stay on top of it (re: your sister's computer)... Fix it--for sure...but have it be down for a few days...then, when you do fix it, ensure that the way your sister pays is by sitting there with you and actually learning what she did wrong...why it's wrong, and how to prevent it in the future. I'll guarantee you'll get more time to be a nerd for yourself! :-)

        In my case, I repair machines all day at work. I don't want to come home and repair another one...I just want it to work.

        I mean, I'm not expecting my girlfriend to assist me with a major computer issue...it's just not her interest--she wants to be a nurse. But the only time she comes to me with an issue is major, BSOD affairs (such as Intel's poor driver releases for it's wireless network cards)...
        GSystems
      • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

        @dresky: Forcing users to upgrade to newer service packs when they want to install software, is an effective way to ensure it's done.

        I doubt MSE really needs Win7 SP1 but artificially it will be forced upon the user anyway.
        bradavon
  • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

    My last message seems to have disappeared.
    I am wary of any AV product that automatically culls and deletes a flagged item. It could very well be the program you are installing it doesn't recognize. If it were to automatically remove it then you would be up a creek without your program. If it warns you and then allows you to go ahead (assuming you know it is a valid program see bobiroc's comment), it would be better.
    dhays
    • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

      @dhays

      It is a double-edged sword. I totally understand that sometimes legit programs and files get flagged which sucks too. There is no winning it seems.
      bobiroc
      • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

        @bobiroc

        Ah, that 'legit program flagging' usually only happens to game trainers or extremely new files (like the Mozilla Nightly installer).

        Now, in the former case, there is no excuse for that in the slightest. In the latter case, I can understand that.

        Basically, unless the security program in question is 100% sure that what I downloaded is a virus? LET ME CHOOSE!
        Lerianis10
    • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

      @dhays I with you 100%. I'm sure that MS isn't going to take away the advanced options. MSE is just too good to take all of my control away (sounds oxymoronic, I know). I definitely need that control. This is a concern for me too. Don't get me wrong--MSE has saved my rear-end about two times over my duration of using it...but many of the false-positives could've been catastrophic, since "System Restore" isn't an option for me at this time (using an SSD [only 96GB] and Windows Software Raid [GPT])...
      GSystems
  • The best Antivirus ever

    We had a serious Shortcut virus and trojan issue at a school I work and Security Essentials reduced the problem to near 10%. The automatic updates and self updating really take a lot out of the complexity of MSE.
    adacosta38
  • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

    Wp7 has failed.

    Even Samsung Bada Outsells wp7:)
    Sultansulan
    • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

      @Sultansulan

      And this has what to do with this article how?
      Brother Barn
      • RE: New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

        @Brother Barn, Sultansulan is one of the many online persona's of someone who feels very threatened by Windows Phone. He needs the world to know by spamming blogs with the same FUD over and over.

        As this spam seems generated, perhaps he now gets paid to do so or his anxiety and personality disorders increase along with the succes of Windows Phone.
        Forrestall
  • ...no required user interaction...

    "Automatic malware remediation: ???The Beta will clean high-impact malware infections automatically, with no required user interaction,??? according to Microsoft."

    Good thing Anti-Virus programs never mistakenly delete system files required to boot your PC.
    SkiddMarxx
  • Well let's see, Mary Jo

    [i][b]Automatic malware remediation:[/b] ???The Beta will clean high-impact malware infections automatically, with no required user interaction,??? according to Microsoft.[/i]

    Wow, that means it's gonna nuke something that I might want to keep and not tell me about it. 'Brilliant'! Just 'brilliant'!

    chortle...lol... :D

    [i][b]Enhanced performance:[/b] ???The Beta includes many performance improvements to make sure your PC performance isn???t negatively impacted,??? the Softies have said.[/i]

    Uh-huh. Like?

    Sounds pretty vague to me.

    [i][b]Simplified UI:[/b] The interface of the beta easier to use, officials have promised..[/i]

    Let's see it.

    [i][b]New and improved protection engine:[/b] ???The updated engine offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities,??? according to the company.[/i]

    That'll be the day.
    ScorpioBlue
    • You sound like a crybaby

      @ScorpioBlue

      Nuke a virus you want to keep? You're kidding right?

      If you want to see the UI, sign up for the beta.

      And if you want a better free antivirus, you don't live on this planet.
      Joe_Raby
      • Who's crying?

        You sure that's not your own kid in the background? ;)<br><br>[i]Nuke a virus you want to keep? You're kidding right?[/i]<br><br>How do we know it's a virus? It doesn't tell us now does it? Get a clue.<br><br>[i]If you want to see the UI, sign up for the beta.[/i]<br><br>Nope, I want it posted here. They announced it so let's see it.<br><br>[i]And if you want a better free antivirus, you don't live on this planet.[/i]<br><br>I already have one. And it's not MSE nuking files without telling me, thank God.
        ScorpioBlue