Microsoft has confirmed earlier published reports that Microsoft Security Essentials (codenamed “Morro”), the free antivirus offering that succeeds the now retired non-free Windows Live OneCare, will be released tomorrow, September 29, 2009:
Microsoft today confirmed that it will launch its free security software suite, which has been in development for almost a year, Tuesday morning.
The spokeswoman added that the program will be made available Tuesday morning, Pacific time, although she did not have a specific hour for the launch.
Earlier in the day, Network World‘s John Fontana had been told by Bob Muglia, the president of Microsoft’s sever and tools division, that the company would ship the free software Tuesday.
Microsoft has pitched the software as a basic anti-virus, anti-spyware program that consumes less memory and disk space than commercial security suites, like those from vendors such as McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro.
Those companies, however, unanimously dismissed Security Essentials — once codenamed “Morro” — as proof that Microsoft couldn’t compete in the paying market.
That may well be classified as whistling past the graveyard since very little trumps free and if Windows Security Essentials is as good as the beta reviews indicated, the security vendors may have a real problem. I’m still waiting for one or more of them to drop a dime to the antitrust regulators in the US or EU.
If you want to get Windows Security Essentials on day one, keep checking the Microsoft WSE website for the download.
In typical (for Windows Live) surreptitious fashion, Windows Live OneCare Safety Scanner (formerly Windows Live Safety Center) has apparently left beta status and been released worldwide. Joris Evers at CNET:
The Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is now available around the world, Microsoft said in a statement Monday. The online scanner removes viruses and spyware, rids a hard drive of clutter, and runs defragmentation.
The service is similar to Trend Micro’s House Call and McAfee’s FreeScan, though those only remove malicious software.
The international launch is a precursor to a broader release of Windows Live OneCare. Beta versions of the consumer security software are scheduled to be available by year’s end in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K., Microsoft said.
In case the distinction isn’t clear, the safety scanner is a free Web based tool (try it out here) while Windows Live OneCare is a purchased, downloadable program which launched in the USA in May and has put a dent in the established players in the PC security market.
Per the Associated Press:
Trend Micro Inc., a maker of antivirus and network security software, said on Monday it received an extension on a 2004 contract with Microsoft Corp. to provide antivirus scanning and cleaning services to 230 million MSN Hotmail e-mail accounts.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed; nor did the company say for how long the contract had been extended.
Apparently the Microsoft server antivirus products (Microsoft Client Protection, Antigen) don’t apply, aren’t ready yet, or can’t handle the considerable Hotmail load.