Microsoft recently released a beta version of their entry into the Anti-Virus/Spyware arena – it is called Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).  The initial release of the software was limited to just a few countries and 75,000 downloads total, which have now been surpassed so the downloads are closed now. Even those of us who got in on the initial download are unable to re-download the software so hopefully you saved a copy on your hard drive just in case.

Before I show you the installation screens here is the minimum system requirements for MSE Beta. Of course these may not be the final versions specs so buyer beware:

Minimum system requirements for Microsoft Security Essentials Beta
  • Operating System: Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3); Windows Vista; Windows 7 (Beta or Release Candidate)
  • For Windows XP, a Personal Computer with a:
    • CPU with clock speed of 500 MHz or higher
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM or higher
  • For Windows Vista and Windows 7, a Personal Computer with a:
    • CPU with clock speed of 1.0 GHz or higher
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM or higher
  • VGA (Display): 800 x 600 or higher
  • Storage: 140 MB of available hard-disk space
  • An Internet connection is required for installation and to download the latest virus and spyware definitions for Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • Internet Browser:
    • Windows Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
    • Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or later

It is a very small download – for the 32 bit version which I grabbed it was only 4.7MB.  Right now MSE is only consuming 850KB of my RAM as well – quite a small footprint compared to other options in this area.

The installation screens are listed below in order of appearance:

mse1 mse2
mse3 mse4
mse5 mse6
mse7 mse8
mse9 mse10

The one area that will frustrate people and fault will be found with is the requirement to be running genuine Windows software.  If your OS will not validate because of an issue and your genuine then contact Microsoft – they will help out.  If you will not validate because your not using genuine Windows then I recommend you get genuine.