Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), Redmond's free consumer security software for PCs, is available for download by the general public
June Microsoft forum post.
The rollout of the antimalware solution comes after three months of public beta testing, limited to thousands of users. The software offers basic protection against viruses and spyware. The free MSE offering likely will compete with paid security offerings from McAfee and Symantec.
MSE is sometimes described as a replacement for Windows Defender, a free app from Microsoft that just removes spyware. Apparently, the two security apps can exist side by side. MSE disables Windows Defender and users don't have to remove it, according to a
MSE will be available for download on Sept. 29 for use on "genuine Windows-based PCs," according to Microsoft's announcement issued on Monday.
The software will work with the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP using Service Pack 2 or 3. It's designed to use a small amount of CPU and memory resources and run on older PCs, according to Microsoft's announcement.
MSE also will work with Windows XP Mode, which is Microsoft's virtualized XP desktop that runs on Windows 7. Both x32 and x64 versions are supported.
Microsoft plans to roll out MSE in eight languages, in 19 countries, on Tuesday. Those countries include "Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States," according to the announcement.
The home page for the MSE solution can be accessed here