New Microsoft Security Essentials beta available to select testers

Microsoft has released a beta of a new version of its free Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) anti-virus/anti-malware client.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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.)

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