Saturday, August 22, 2009

First steps with Microsoft Security Essentials

Here are my first impressions of MSE.

Currently I have MSE installed on

  • my XP notebook, an important computer for me; I use it at customer service calls;
  • one Win7 RC test system that I currently use to write this blog entry;
  • one Vista notebook destined to be a birthday gift and
  • three brand new Vista notebooks owned by customers who had agreed to “guinea pig” status.
    Thanks Toby, Fred and Todd.

“My” current individual take on MSE:

  1. It really seems to be install and forget, on Vista and Win7 at least.
  2. On my “production” XP notebook I manually ran Microsoft Update today and I was offered two definition updates for MSE.
    That indicates that MSE’s own update feature seems not to be fully automatic yet, on XP at least. For a limited time I could live with having to check for MSE updates manually.
  3. I am still waiting for first reports from independent test institutes on MSE’s effectiveness.

All of the following is an update August 24th, 2009:

Today I installed MSE on another customer's really old computer (ca. year 2000) on Win XP and it runs like a charm; it immediately updated automatically the program and the definitions. It is getting better.

I found a comparison from July of this year where someone had compared MSE's detection results against 25 other established anti virus programs.
MSE finished second best! This certainly is only a hint of where it's heading and not a thorough test; but only Sophos AV was better and Sophos is one of the most expensive anti virus solutions out there; it is something like the Rolls Royce of AV programs.

If Microsoft's MSE keeps its quality promise and manages to slowly either push Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro and others out of business or force them to substantially improve and get cheaper at the same time than Microsoft would have done the public a huge favor. I never believed I would say that!

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog.

Thank you in advance.

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