MS launches Security Essentials beta

MS launches Security Essentials beta

The latest beta of Security Essentials offers improved protection against web- and network-borne attacks.

Microsoft has announced a beta release of the next generation of its free Security Essentials package for Windows, bringing a taste of future features.

Announced by Brandon LeBlanc on the company's Windows Team blog, the new edition of the Security Essentials anti-malware package brings a host of new features to the platform - some of which are considerably more impressive than others.

The first feature LeBlanc describes is, perhaps, the most underwhelming: during setup of the new beta release, Security Essentials will "now ask if you would like to turn the Windows Firewall on or off."

Thankfully, after headlining with that damp squib, the feature list starts to look a little more exciting: deeper integration with Internet Explorer provides "protection against web-based threats," although there's no mention of support for such protection in third-party browsers; a new protection engine "offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities with better performance," which should please those for whom ever CPU cycle is precious; and most impressively a network inspection system which offers "protection against network-based exploits."

Sadly, the network inspection system feature relies on the Windows Filtering Platform in order to do its protective magic - meaning that while Windows Vista and Windows 7 users can enjoy enhanced security from attack, Windows XP users are left out in the cold. LeBlanc consoles those still running XP with the knowledge that the beta will still install under XP and "you can still use all other beta features."

The beta is already available for download, but requires registration into the programme. A limited number of spots are available, and will be allocated to "genuine Windows users on a first come, first serve basis."

Are you impressed with the features listed in the Security Essentials beta, or do you still struggle with the idea that you should trust the company that made the security flaws to protect you from the security flaws? Share your thoughts over in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
impar 21st July 2010, 11:35 Quote

Having some features work only with IE is weird for a Windows application.
The Windows XP limitation shouldnt affect many. Most have already moved to Windows 6.0 or 6.1.

Any news on whether Microsoft will produce a better firewall?
V3ctor 21st July 2010, 11:35 Quote
Beta antivirus.... yeah right... I'll go running signing in... :D

Remembers me of the deletion of kernel32, and lots of .dlls of some famous anti-virus (Kaspersky, McAffee)
impar 21st July 2010, 11:49 Quote
Originally Posted by V3ctor
Beta antivirus.... yeah right...
Its not the AV part that is Beta, its the new features.
Denis_iii 21st July 2010, 12:07 Quote
sounds good
i moved from avg/avast to security essentials and have not looked back, had no issues at all or infections.
great product!
Mentai 21st July 2010, 13:26 Quote
They may have made software that contains security flaws, but they are the only AV that don't have a vested interest in exploiting them.
yakyb 21st July 2010, 15:54 Quote
MSE + Malwarebytes

cant go wrong
RichCreedy 21st July 2010, 17:58 Quote
beta software should only be run on non essential systems anyway, so if you don't read the notes, which clearly state don't run beta software on essential sysems, it's your hard luck if something goes wrong.

software vendors need to use beta's for testing, as they can't possibly test every variation of system out there on their own.
thehippoz 21st July 2010, 18:08 Quote
I see that sometimes.. the builder puts avg + malwarebytes running together- overkill and slows down the system

I like kapersky myself but this might be nice when it's out of beta
RichCreedy 21st July 2010, 18:41 Quote
avg and malwarebytes work fine together, kaspersky on the otherhand, is slow and clunky.

just make sure that malwarebytes and avg are not running scans at the same time, which is easy enough to do.
HourBeforeDawn 21st July 2010, 20:37 Quote
so far MSSE has been one of the best free AV programs out, I have been pretty impressed with so ya Im downloading the Beta now ^_^
leexgx 21st July 2010, 22:05 Quote
find mse is like vista makes loads of disk use on first start I norm just remove it as it slows the system down
erratum1 23rd July 2010, 04:47 Quote
I used mcafee then security essentials, and I never seem to get anything even though I use the web everyday. It would just be nice to see that it was actually doing something ! But at least it doesn't give loads of false positives like some av's do.
PingCrosby 2nd August 2010, 23:03 Quote
I've always used and recommended Kaspersky, but this latest build is really intrusive and really slows everything down, never had any problems with security essentials its quite un-intrusive and doesn't slow the system down at all while remaining quite effective.
confusis 2nd August 2010, 23:32 Quote
MSSE seems to be the best Free AV out there at the moment, converted me from AVG. A LOT of people I know have also converted over so Microsoft must be doing something right.
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