Microsoft Security Essentials (Anti-virus)

I have never, ever been a fan of anti-virus applications.  Why?  Well, as a systems administrator, I’ve seen how more often than not they adversely affect the PC that they’re “protecting” – primarily in the area of system performance.  It drives me nuts.  In most cases, I think the protection they offer is admirable, but at the cost of performance?  No thank you.

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When it was announced a year ago (or so) that Microsoft would be releasing their own anti-virus client, the jokes started almost immediately.  Windows has long been flogged as an “insecure” operating system, even though Windows XP’s service-pack 2 (released in August 2004) resolved most of these issues. 

It’s difficult to shake a bad reputation. 

What has been unknown for these many months is what Microsoft’s iteration of an anti-virus client would look like.  Will it be bloated?  Slow?  Will it even provide system protection?  How much will it cost?  Some of these questions were answered with the earlier release of Microsoft’s Live OneCare suite, which garnered very good reviews on all accounts.  Still, Microsoft would find some way to mess up a good thing, right?  Don’t they always??

Not necessarily.

Earlier this year, the beta of Microsoft Security Essentials was released and the results were quite surprising. 

  • No Bloat: Less than a 5 meg download for the 64-bit version.  Seriously.
  • Responsive: Your system feels nearly ‘no load’, even while a full system scan is taking place
  • Cost?: Free

The one thing that I cannot comment on is the level of protection that this anti-virus suite provides, though I’m going to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt on this one.  Why?  Just because they’re Microsoft?  No, actually – more because their Live OneCare product (upon which this app is based) has already been given a thumbs-up in this regard.  I expect that tradition to continue.

So… note this date in history: I am for the very first time recommending an anti-virus product.  Check out Microsoft Security Essentials

Would like to read a more in-depth review?  Sure thing.  Head over to this site.

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