Microsoft has made available for download on October 24 by a select group of testers the first build of its next release of the free Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) anti-malware product.
The new test build, No. 1.0.1676.0, is available via the Microsoft Connect site by those contacted by the company. The MSE team sent invitations for the "ongoing" beta of MSE to a subset of the Windows 7 test group earlier this month, telling those notified that they would hear back by November 1 as to whether or not they'd be getting the new test bits.
One tester who downloaded the build today told me the only difference he noticed was the new build number. Ars Technica is reporting that there are test versions available for Windows XP 32-bit (8.62MB), Windows Vista/7 32-bit (4.29MB), and Windows Vista/7 64-bit (4.72MB). Ars said that every installer grew by 0.01MB with this new build.
Here's a copy of the e-mail message the MSE team is sending to some testers today (which one tester shared with me):
From: Microsoft Security Essentials Beta Date: 2009/10/24 Subject: Microsoft Security Essentials Ongoing Beta Invitation To: xxxx
The Microsoft Security Essentials Ongoing Beta Program needs you!
Interested in joining the fight against viruses, spyware, and other PC health dangers? Help improve Microsoft® Security Essentials, Microsoft’s new antimalware solution for consumers, by becoming an Ongoing Beta program tester. As part of the Microsoft Security Essentials Ongoing Beta program, you will have the opportunity to explore new builds before the public sees them, submit bugs, and give feedback. Your feedback helps Microsoftto make its software and services the best that they can.
If you are interested, please click on the link below, sign-in with Live ID/password and install the Ongoing Beta build.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE Microsoft Security Essentials Ongoing Beta Program
Microsoft Security Essentials Team
Microsoft made available for download at the end of September the final version 1 of MSE. MSE (codenamed “Morro”) is the replacement for Windows Live OneCare and a superset of Windows Defender. Microsoft officials have said it will work on Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Microsoft is targeting MSE at customers who are unwilling and unable to pay for security software. Company officials have said they believed it was worth offering customers a free product to help thwart security breaches on unprotected Windows PCs that potentially could be used to infect other users’ systems.
I recently asked some of my Twitter followers and blog readers what they'd like to see in the next version of MSE. Here are a few of their responses:
PhilltheChill: "v2 of MSE should have integration within Outlook and Windows Live Mail - The icing on the cake"
mgeddes: "It doesn't show a history of scans (that I can find anyway). It would be nice to know if it did a full scan last week for instance. I have them scheduled but I don't really have proof they ran. Maybe it puts something in the event viewer (haven't looked), but easy and up front is better. Also, move towards business support like WSUS. (management, AD & workgroup support, reporting etc). The non-free versions from other companies always leave a lot to be desired."
Other new feature requests for the MSE team?