Windows 7 was released last week and it looks like Microsoft might be getting its act together. I wanted to let you know about some free antivirus software that Microsoft has released (not beta) and it is compatible with Windows 7 (unlike some existing antivirus programs). It looks very good.
It is called Microsoft Security Essentials and can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/resources.aspx. It only takes a minute to download and install. I discovered that it is very comprehensive. When I rebooted my system it detected an automated backup program that I run and asked if I wanted to give it permission to work through the firewall – so I know it is absolutely checking the firewall.
The second thing is that it was tested against 3,200 viruses and detected all of them, including malware, etc. You can read the review at http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=4785.
The third feature that is pretty cool, other than being free, is that it works on Windows XP, Vista and the new 7. So you can dump all of your old antivirus if you want to. It is true that it might not have features like a browsing toolbar that your current antivirus has – but – if you load Internet Explorer 8, much of that security is already built in.
From a performance perspective I launched programs as soon as the computer loaded Microsoft Security Essentials. When I did this with Zone Alarm and McAfee, the system would tend to thrash a bit. With the MS antivirus this did not appear to be a problem.
So, if you didn’t know about it I hope this was helpful.
P.S. – If you own stock in McAfee, Norton or others you may want to watch it carefully. When this is widely publicized it could be a game changer.