'

Microsoft Security Essentials available today

Microsoft has confirmed that it is releasing Microsoft Security Essentials, its free anti-malware product, today (September 29). The cut-down, basic anti-malware solution replaces Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare.

Microsoft has confirmed that it is releasing Microsoft Security Essentials, its free anti-malware product, today (September 29). The cut-down, basic anti-malware solution replaces Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare.

The Microsoft Security Essentials is a freeware application which provides the user with protection against malware. It's important to bear in mind that while Microsoft Security Essentials is a replacement for OneCare, Microsoft Security Essentials does not come with a software firewall, data backup facility or troubleshooting tools. Instead, Microsoft Security Essentials focuses only on offering anti-malware and anti-rootkit functionality.

"In November 2008, Microsoft announced plans to deliver a new no-cost anti-malware solution—code-named Morro—to consumers in the second half of calendar year 2009. By providing this core anti-malware solution to consumers at no cost ... Microsoft [is able] to better address the security needs created by smaller PC form factors, explosive growth of PCs in emerging markets and rapid increases in the incidence of global malware, and ... remove some of the barriers that stand in the way of consumers having quality anti-malware protection."

According to Microsoft, Security Essentials is "the first Microsoft security product to make use of the company's new Dynamic Signature Service, a technology that helps ensure [that] users stay protected by the most current virus definitions available without having to wait for the next scheduled download."

Note: For the record, the final build of Microsoft Security Essentials is 1.0.1611.0.

Microsoft Security Essentials will be available in eight languages and 19 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.