In a move aimed at reducing the spread of viruses and malware, Microsoft has launched the final version of its anti malware scanner, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) which is designed to offer basic protection against viruses, Trojans, spywares and other malicious programs.
The anti malware application boasts of a "Dynamic Signature Service" which will make sure that users are always up to date with latest antivirus definitions instead of relying on the next scheduled update.
Expressing the rational behind introducing the product for free, Cliff Evans, head of security and privacy at Microsoft UK, mentioned “We want everyone to have up to date anti-malware because this is good for the Windows eco-system. Surveys by campaigns such as GetSafeOnline show that 50 per cent don't have up to date security software installed."
Though the MSE lacks behaviour tracking feature which is normally available in paid versions of antivirus applications, it still packs enough punch to pose a serious challenge to free antivirus vendors such as Avira and AVG.
Interestingly Microsoft has categorically denied any plans to bundle the application with its Windows 7 operating system, though some OEM vendors may still choose to preinstall the application on their systems.
In fact Microsoft has pointed out that the MSE application targets millions of Windows users who have no antivirus protection and it does not aim to wean away users from established antivirus vendors like Symantec or McAfee. The software is available for download here.
Seriously though, why didn't Microsoft simply make Windows more bulletproof, that would surely just be better for everyone. Maybe Microsoft has other plans in the future. That hasn't affected the shares of security companies like Symantec, McAfee or Trend Micro, all of which have posted slight increases over the past 24 hours.
MS opens up Security Essentials downloads from today