Microsoft opened its gates to public beta testers for its free antivirus solution, Microsoft Security Essentials, on June 23, 2009. Within a day, it managed to get rid of the 75,000 public beta downloads it had made available on a first-come-first-serve basis in the United States, China, Israel and Brazil.
“The final version of Microsoft Security Essentials will be released to the public in the coming weeks. If you are running the older version of the beta (1.0.1407.0), we encourage you to upgrade to a newer version of the beta (1.0.1500.0),” Microsoft informed testers on Sunday.
Microsoft recently made the Microsoft Security Essentials beta available for download. When Microsoft first announced that it had a free antivirus software in the works, Symantec and MacAfee shares immediately plunged. Both the antivirus developers are not ready to acknowledge MSE as a threat to their paid offerings.
David Hall, a regional product manager at Symantec, unleashed a diatribe against MSE while speaking to BLORGE. He believes MSE is not a consummate product and cannot fully protect users. “If you are only relying on free antivirus to offer you protection in this modern age, you are not getting the protection you need to be able to stay clean and have a reasonable chance of avoiding identity theft,” Hall said. He even ridiculed MSE as “a stripped down version of the OneCare product.”