Microsoft confirmed that the beta version of its freebie anti-mailware software, code-named "Morro" will be available for download on June 23. The company has officially named the product Microsoft Security Essentials. The beta will be made publicly available in the U.S. (as well as Brazil and Israel) at about 9 a.m. PDT from www.microsoft.com/security_essentials. (The site is not yet live.)
Microsoft has not confirmed when the final version will ship, but has said it will be in 2009.
Microsoft Security Essentials will tackle viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans. Some are predicting, that if the application works as advertised, it will kill the third-party anti-virus market. Microsoft Subnet does not believe that enterprises will vacate their tried-and-true products but will benefit from Security Essentials all the same. With the price point of free, Security Essentials means the average consumer can do a much better job of protecting home PCs.
Microsoft is often accused of not doing enough to secure Windows computers. This software (if it works well, in the background and doesn't break things), should do a lot to quell the critics. If it breaks things, well, let's just say Microsoft will hear about it from the blogosphere and others.
Enterprises will want to play with Security Essentials in the lab and ensure that it does not interfere with the VPN or other corporate applications that their employees may try and access from their home computers. If employees can safely use it on their home machines, and the enterprise encourages this use (maybe even offers light support), Security Essentials could obviously help protect the corporate network as well.
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Julie Bort is the editor of Microsoft Subnet and Network World's Online Community Editor. She also writes the Open Source Subnet blog and is the editor responsible for the Cisco Subnet and Open Source Subnet web sites. If you have an idea for a blog, or a news tip on Microsoft, Cisco or Open Source technologies, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-482-6454 or follow Julie on Twitter @Julie188.
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