I am the on call PC expert for my entire family and most of my friends, this works for me most times but dealing with every single version and permutation of all those virus software products leads to an additional layer of discovery which has the unfortunate effect of wasting my time. So once the 6 month trials are up I quickly try to intercept my families attempts to go Best Buy and purchase software and gently nudge them onto a single virus protection source, namely Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).

I switched to MSE less than a year ago, and that time I was a huge fan of AVG Free, however, I noticed that AVG would make it increasingly difficult to find free version of the software and the pop ups telling you about subsequent updates never pointed to the free version, I grew tired of that constant struggle. Additionally, in terms of performance, my anecdotal assessment of MSE is that it has less of a memory footprint while actually “idol” and also while running “Quick” and “Full” scans.

Today Microsoft announced the beta for the next version of Microsoft Security Essentials. New features in the beta include:

  • Windows Firewall integration – During setup, Microsoft Security Essentials will now ask if you would like to turn the Windows Firewall on or off.
  • Enhanced protection for web-based threats – Microsoft Security Essentials now integrates with Internet Explorer to provide protection against web-based threats.
  • New protection engine – The updated anti-malware engine offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities with better performance.
  • Network inspection system – Protection against network-based exploits is now built in to Microsoft Security Essentials.

I probably will not push everyone to the new beta yet, but I will try it out on a couple of PCs and see how it goes. You can download the beta here (you will need a Windows Live ID).

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