Microsoft's own anti-virus package, originally dubbed Morro, has officially launched in beta – after early builds were leaked to the web.
As reported over on Download Squad
, the 1.0 build of the newly-named Microsoft Security Essentials is available for download directly from Microsoft
should you be interested.
The offer is, however, limited: as the release is considered a public beta, rather than a final build, Microsoft is limiting the number of downloads to 75,000 worldwide – although the company has stated that it will increase this number should demand prove high.
The move towards offering a Microsoft-branded anti-virus and anti-spyware solution is likely to anger purveyors of third-party solutions to Windows' foibles, as it represents a likely drain on their revenue stream. The issue is made even worse by the fact that, perhaps surprisingly, Microsoft Security Essentials appears to be receiving generally positive reviews – with companies praising its low memory footprint and high detection rate.
The demand for the product may, however, be dampened by an issue of image: with an anti-virus offering, as it does, a partial solution for issues arising from the Windows codebase, it's somewhat questionable as to whether it's safe to trust a solution from the same source as the originally questionable code.
Despite this, Microsoft appears to be going full steam ahead – although there is no firm date yet set for the retail launch.
Would you trust an anti-virus from Microsoft, or does it require a third party to restore your confidence in the platform? Share your thoughts over in the forums