Microsoft Security Essentials (previously code named Morro) beta was released yesterday and here we are going to take a look at what you can expect.  This latest security offering from Redmond is an Antivirus utility meant to run alongside Windows Defender and Firewall to take the place of their discontinued OneCare.

Using Security Essentials

Installation is quick and easy following the installation wizard.  The download file is less than 8MB and is light on system resources compared to other Antivirus utilities out there.

You will need to validate your copy of Windows when installing.

2 Validate

After validation and installing the program you can check for updates and scan your system right away.

3 run scan right away

You will get a progress update screen while running the database updates.

4 first update

The user interface is intuitive and nicely laid out making it easy to get protected right away.  You can choose between Quick, Full, and custom scans and Real-time protection is enabled by default.

5 main console

Go into the Settings tab to customize the scanning schedule.

6 schedule scan

Change Real-time protections settings or disable it in settings.

7 real time protection

In Settings you can also change Microsoft SpyNet membership where Basic is enabled by default.  If you choose the Advanced membership a lot more data is sent to Microsoft including locations, filenames, and more information of potential malicious software. If you are concerned about the amount of data being sent you should check out their Privacy Statement.

8 MS spynet

When a scan is complete you will see the results in the main screen.

10 Results

Overall Security Essentials performs fast scan and is light on system resources.  We ran it on a Windows 7 (32-bit) machine with an Intel Dual Core processor and 3GB of RAM and everything ran smoothly.

task mgr

According to their site they are offering only 75,000 beta copies and you will need to sign up for a Microsoft Connect account to get it.  If you are an early adopter and would like to try out the beta click the link below before it’s unavailable.  Right now the official release is scheduled for some time in September.

Microsoft Security Essentials