Microsoft lauches free anti-virus software

Microsoft has launched a trial version of its free anti-virus software in the US, China, Brazil and Israel. Microsoft Security Essentials is designed to provide users with basic protection form viruses, trojans and spyware.

The software company will be hoping that its new venture into internet security is more successful than Windows Live OneCare which has been scrapped. MSE can be downloaded for free from the Microsoft site and will also include automatic updates.

But a number of rival internet security companies have already criticised Microsoft's latest foray into the world of anti-virus software. According to internet security firm Symantec: "Early reviews of the beta are showing that it under-performs when compared to existing freeware products, and well below paid solutions."

"Referring to Microsoft's basic anti-virus and anti-spyware product as an essential security solution is misleading. Consumers need firewall protection, web protection, anti-spam and identity safeguards."

Microsoft Security Essentials should be available in Europe sometime later this year.

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