Security Essentials Graduates To V1.0

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September 29, 2009

Security Essentials graduates to v1.0

by Seth Rosenblatt

Microsoft has released version 1.0 of Security Essentials, the successor to Live OneCare. Originally known as Morro, Security Essentials retains the core features of OneCare, but abandons the additional heft of a firewall, performance tuning, and backup and restore options in exchange for making the program free. Rather than taking aim at full-featured security suites made by Symantec or Eset, the features available in Security Essentials indicate that Microsoft is aiming to compete with basic-but-free security apps.


It uses both definition file and real-time defenses against viruses and spyware, and also offers rootkit protection. The program's reputation-based detection and software signature-based detection seem to rely heavily on Microsoft SpyNet, the unfortunately named cloud-based service that compares file behavior across computers running various Microsoft operating systems.

SpyNet was introduced in Windows Vista and extended to Windows 7, but Microsoft Security Essentials is the only way to access the network on Windows XP. Unlike other security vendors that allow customers to take advantage of the benefits of their behavioral detection engines while opting out of submitting information, there's no way to do that with SpyNet.

You can choose between two SpyNet memberships. Basic submits to Microsoft the detected software's origins, your response to it, and whether that action was successful, while the Advanced membership submits all that plus the location on your hard drive of the software in question, how it operates, and how it has impacted your computer. Both basic and advanced warn users that personal data might be "accidentally" sent to Microsoft, although they promise to neither identify nor contact you. Opting out of SpyNet, however, is not an option in Security Essentials.

More details & screenshots – CNET News -

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