Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials

Even as a long time NOD32 user and supporter, I'm not afraid to look around at something that offers the promise of decent detection and cleaning capabilities.  I won't bother looking at anything that turns a Core i7 920 into a PC Jr (like products from Old Yellow) nor anything that simply doesn't work well (like those from McAfee), however I've been interested in Trend for some time (they've not managed to deliver yet) and then along comes Microsoft with Windows Live OneCare.  It was shit.  Really shit.  That doesn't mean I didn't beta test it and submit bug and suggestion reports.  But it was shit.  Its detection rates were appaling, it allowed insecure applications through default white lists in its firewall and it was sluggish.  AKA it was shit.

So, Microsoft decided to do the best thing they could do to OneCare - they discontinued it.

Then along came Security Essentials.  This was the replacement to OneCare and was going to be released as a free product for desktop users only (compared to Live OneCare that was not free and also had a Server version available).  Here we go again, Microsoft obviously doesn't learn their lessons well - first was MSAV that was terrible.  Then OneCare that was equally terrible.  Now Security Essentials.  So I got on the beta.

Microsoft Security Essentials is pretty good so far.  No, I haven't been actively malware hunting yet to compare it to NOD32, however during my testing of MS Security Essentials on a number of machines runing a number of OSes (Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows 7 Pro x64, Windows 7 Pro x86, Windows XP Pro x86 and even Windows Vista Business x86) and it runs well.  It has detected the same malware that I've noticed NOD32 detecting (on other machines, obviously) on particular websites and hasn't missed anything that I've seen.

And now it has been released to market as an official Microsoft product - it has been released from its beta shackles!  :)

So, at this point in time, I'd be recommending people investigate Security Essentials for themselves to see what they think of it.  Would I be suggesting to our NOD32 clients that they replace their NOD32 with MSSE?  Not yet.  I want to see how it plays in the real world a little longer - Microsoft has a less than savoury history in the security and protection fields ths far, but with MSSE and Forefront, it looks like they may well be making some changes for the better.  (For some excellent news about both Forefront and Old Yellow, have a read of this.)


The Outspoken Wookie

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