The best quote from the press release on the availability of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) starting tomorrow:

Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Corp.’s new no-cost, core anti-malware service that helps protect consumers against viruses, spyware and other malicious software, will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The download will not require any registration to get it but it does need to be installed on a Genuine Microsoft Windows system.

I have been using MSE since the beta started and it is very solid, has kept all of our home PC’s virus and malware free and is easy on system resources.

So why make this free?  Many of you will remember Microsoft One Care when it came out as a subscription based service and many of the features in MSE had their beginnings in One Care.  There was also some belief that since Once Care was being discontinued that MSE would take its place as a paid product but it seems Microsoft really did listen to its customers in this decision:

“Consumers have told us that they want the protection of real-time security software but we know that too many are either unwilling or unable to pay for it, and so end up unprotected,” said Amy Barzdukas, general manager for consumer security at Microsoft. “With Microsoft Security Essentials, consumers can get high-quality protection that is easy to get and easy to use — and it won’t get in their way.”

There are quite a few free options out there for anti virus and MSE is a great addition to that pool.  Bottom line is to use something – just do not be unprotected.

MSE will be available for Windows XP SP2 or SP3, Windows Vista and Windows 7 including Windows XP mode on both x32 and x64 PCs.

Microsoft Security Essentials will be available in eight languages and 19 countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. More information about Microsoft Security Essentials and the product download is available at