Monthly Archives: June 2009

More information on Windows 7: Pricing and Availability

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the much anticipated pricing information for Windows 7 and its availability this October 2009 around the world. Consumers and Businesses can take confidence in Windows 7 being everywhere on new PC’s and store shelves this holiday. Back in February Microsoft confirmed the editions that Windows 7 will be available in. Yesterday, Brandon Leblanc of the Windows 7 Team blog along with Corporate VP for Windows Consumer Marketing, Brad Brooks in a video interview talked about how Microsoft is pricing the SKU line up for this release.

So what’s new?

Windows 7 is cheaper than Windows Vista and Microsoft is making consumers in various parts of the world get to experience Windows 7 free early even when you buy a new PC today with Windows Vista!

On October 22nd, Windows 7 will be available in the following 14 languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Chinese (Hong Kong).

Then on October 31st, the remaining 21 languages will become available: Turkish, Czech, Portuguese, Hungarian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Greek, Ukrainian, Romanian, Arabic, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Slovenian, Hebrew, Thai, Croatian, Serbian Latin, and Latvian.

As for the pricing itself:

So here’s the low-down on pricing for Windows 7. The estimated retail prices for upgrade packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade): $119.99
  • Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade): $199.99
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (Upgrade): $219.99

And the estimated retail prices for full packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium (Full): $199.99
  • Windows 7 Professional (Full): $299.99
  • Windows 7 Ultimate (Full): $319.99

The best part really is for the early adopters:

And we have the answer for people who need a new PC now but still want to get Windows 7 and that’s the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program, which kicks off tomorrow, June 26th! Anyone who buys a PC from a participating OEM or retailer with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate on it will all receive an upgrade to the corresponding version of Windows 7 at little or no cost to customers. The Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program will be available until January 31st, 2010 – and is global! For more information on taking advantage of the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program, visit www.windows.com/upgradeoffer.

Finally, as a way of saying thank you to our loyal Windows customers, we are excited to introduce a special time limited offer! We will offer people in select markets the opportunity to pre-order Windows 7 at a more than 50% discount. In the US, this will mean you can pre-order Windows 7 Home Premium for USD $49.99 or Windows 7 Professional for USD $99.99. You can take advantage of this special offer online via select retail partners such as Best Buy or Amazon, or the online Microsoft Store (in participating markets).

Check out the entire article and interview here

The wide availability of Windows 7 this fall will definitely be great time for Windows customers and PC users around the world to experience significant benefits in ease of use and productivity. From the significantly enhanced Taskbar, Desktop interactivity, improvements to Search and tighter integration with Windows Server 2008 R2 through features such as App Locker, Direct Connect and a host of many other features, Windows 7 is the upgrade that is going to really make a major positive impact on our computing experiences for a very long time. When combined with the free Windows Live Essentials, consumers and businesses will have a complete and powerful value added experience.

Resources

Windows 7 Editions – More detailed information
Official: Microsoft Confirms Windows 7 Editions

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Michael Jackson

August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009.

I just would like to take the time out to pay my respects to a musical genius who has inspired us with his amazing gift of song and dance. I have been a major fan of the King of Pop since I was a child. Memorizing his lyrics and dance moves and performing them at church concerts when I was younger. Michael’s dedication to his craft redefined music and the music video art form, influenced many of today’s popular performers. Whether its Usher, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Celine Dion, Rihanna and so many others. I remember a description of Michael when I was young as a man with planetary effects. In some way, Michael was a part of our lives and losing him I am sure for many is devastating as losing a loved one. Although I may not have gotten the chance to meet him in person, I feel like I have met him through his many songs and performances. I asked my brother once, suppose Michael died, what would happen? My brother replied, "it would be a sad day around the world". That day has unfortunately arrived, but let us cherish the gift he gave us, music.

The lyrics to the song below is from Michael’s first solo debut album, ‘Music and Me’ (1973), written by Michel Legrand; Smokey Robinson.

Happy

Sadness had been close as my next of kin
Then Happy came one day, chased my blues away
My life began when Happy smiled
Sweet like candy to a child
Stay here and love me just a while
Let Sadness see what Happy does
Let Happy be where Sadness was
Happy, that’s you

You made my life brand new
Lost as a little lamb was I till you came in
My life began when Happy smiled
Sweet like candy to a child
Stay here and love me just a while
Let Sadness see what Happy does
Let Happy be where Sadness was
(Till now)

Where have I been?
What lifetime was I in?
Suspended between time and space
Lonely until Happy came smiling up at me
Sadness had no choice but to flee
I said a prayer so silently
Let Sadness see what Happy does
Let Happy be where Sadness was till now

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Official look at the new Windows 7 Packaging

Brandon Leblanc of the Windows 7 Team Blog makes its official with a quick look at the new Windows 7 packaging coming this fall. With this release, Microsoft has made it much simpler to open the case while still protecting its contents.

Simple, Clean and Easy To Open…

We approached the packaging for Windows 7 the same way we approached the product – by listening to what our customers told us they wanted: make it a simple clean design, easy to open, and reduce waste.

Simple Design

Customers told us they liked the big bold Windows logo and how it clearly communicates that it’s Windows 7. They like larger typefaces to make it easy to read and they like background colors for each edition to make it easier to differentiate between Windows 7 Home Premium all the way to Windows 7 Ultimate. In their own words, the “clean” design gives off a “fresh” feel.

Learn more here

The mechanics is tremendously easier this time around, think DVD movie packing simple. The Vista product box is like a vice grip. Customers I believe will have less frustrating experience this time around. I am looking forward to see what design is used for the holographic Windows 7 disk.

Related

Windows 7 advertised at the ‘Microsoft Store’ – Coming Soon!
Windows 7 Product boxes: Simple, Elegant and Informative
Distinctive Windows 7 Branding

Resources

Windows Vista Packaging – What has changed?
Opening the Windows Vista Box Update
Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade – Unlocking more benefits with less effort
Announcing New Packaging for Windows Vista and 2007 Office System

 

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Checking out Microsoft Security Essentials BETA

As you all know, Microsoft released a beta of its free antivirus and antispyware utility today once code named ‘Morro’. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free product for Windows 7, Vista and XP customers. Back in 2006 Microsoft introduced its security service suite Windows Live OneCare. Microsoft recently decided that they would discontinue Live OneCare in June 2009 and replace it with Security Essentials. Based on Microsoft’s own Forefront 2.2 enterprise security technologies, the aim of Security Essentials is to provide an economically friendly way to encourage protecting your Windows PC. A lot of computer users who buy a new PC often get a free trial period version of popular security utilities. When they expire, the user tends to not purchase a full license but continue using the expired software. There are persons who out right consciously decide they are not going to purchase additional security software. For users like that, Microsoft has an answer, its called Security Essentials.

So, its free, but there are other free Antivirus products out there such as Free AVG and countless others? Microsoft does not have a problem with that, they are not competing with either commercial or free Antivirus products. The focus of Security Essentials is for those persons who do not have any security software installed on their Windows systems at all or don’t keep security software updated.

Installing Microsoft Security Essentials (click image to enlarge)

Installation

Quick and easy is how I would describe the installation process. I was very surprised at how small the setup file is too. For persons on a slow Internet Connection, downloading Security Essentials will be a breeze. The 3.7 MB executable for Windows Vista and 7 x64 is the smallest out of all the platforms its available for, which range from 4.7 to 7 MBs. The install wizard requires that you have a genuine installation of Windows before you can install the software. Security Essentials encourages that you remove any currently installed Antivirus and AntiSpyware products before installing it as this can result in conflicts and performance issues. I already had Kaspersky beta for Windows 7 installed. I was still allowed to install MSE and I was able to remove Kaspersky after installation. MSE also disables the bundled Windows Defender AntiSpyware utility that comes with Windows 7 and Vista. After completing the installation, you can immediately download signature updates and scan your PC for malicious software.

Microsoft Security Essentials user interface

Anything special

Just like most Antivirus utilities, Microsoft Security Essentials scans your PC’s hard disk, other storage devices and main memory to detect viruses and spyware and also deletes or quarantines them. It scans disk drives for signature characteristics strings by known viruses. Security Essentials also looks for suspicious behavior, such as attempts to erase or alter areas of your system. The interface is a very slick presentation that provides a cohesive tabbed layout of activities, history and settings, which is quite similar to Windows Defender if you have ever used it. I was hoping that the software though would display information like how old the Antivirus and AntiSpyware signatures were since they were last updated although the software indicated clearly that it needed an update based on a orange banner and computer display icon. I was also informed by Action Center in Windows 7 that the program is out of date.

Checking for virus and spyware definitions

Microsoft Security Essentials indicating its Updated

I noticed that Security Essentials refused to give me access to both History and Settings area of the utility. I suspect this is to prevent malicious programs from infiltrating the program and disabling it. Once I successfully updated MSE, I was granted access to those areas of the utility. Updating MSE is clearly emphasized with tips about why it is important to do so. For a new computer user, this definitely takes the complexity out of using security software with well explained information. Concerning updating, I hope Microsoft provides an online repository similar to Symantecs SARC where I can manually download the latest definition files and apply them on PC’s that might not have reliable Internet access with MSE installed, especially for persons who might be on slower connections, this will be a handy convenience.

Running a Scan, a screenshot of MSE’s memory usage in Task Manager (right)
(Click image to enlarge)

Microsoft should add a tab specifically for scanning, I notice the Scan execution is not well thought out and might trigger some sense of confusion. I would like a Custom Scan area with Scan tab that allows me to select the drives that I want to scan, instead of me clicking Custom, click Scan and it brings up a separate dialog. I notice when I select ‘Full Scan’ and click ‘Scan’ it scans the system partition first. I am currently running Windows 7 on a logical partition, I would prefer if MSE scans that first or ask me, would you like to scan these drives too.

The History tab provides a centralized location for managing malicious threats

Users can also take advantage of options such as contextual scan menu in Windows Explorer shell for on the fly scanning of folders and drives. I notice that MSE’s Help Menu features an option to upgrade the program which suggest that the latest version of the utility can be easily kept updated and easy to install all from within the program.

Settings area for Security Essentials

Maintenance and Configuration

MSE integrates nicely with Windows 7’s Action Center Security area, providing centralized links to quickly update the program without having to do so through the utility itself. Security Essentials Settings are organized into a well thought out list of options and settings that allows the user to easily customize the the utilities functionality. A list view of options include the following:

Scheduled scan: Here you schedule when you would like MSE to scan your PC for threats in addition to checking for virus and spyware definitions.

Default actions: Lets you decide how to handle detected threats, by letting you define the default action for each alert level such as Severe, High, Medium, or Low.

Real-time protection: Alerts you when viruses, spyware or other potentially unwanted software attempts to install itself or run your computer.

Excluded files and locations: When you run a scan or use real-time protection, you can exclude certain files and locations.

Excluded file types: You can exclude certain file types. Excluding certain file types can help speed up the scan, but may leave your computer less protected.

Excluded processes: Allows you to exclude certain processes that run on your PC, examples include .cmd, .bat, .pif, .scf, .exe, .com or .scr.

Advanced: Provides a wide grouping of options for scanning archived files such as .ZIP and .CAB. You can optionally choose to scan removable drives (unchecked by default). Apply a system restore point before applying actions to detected items and allow users with limited privileges on the PC to view Detected items in the History tab.

Microsoft SpyNet: Just like Windows Defender, MSE includes support for Microsoft’s online community for responding to potential threats.

Once installed Security Essentials will disable Windows Defender if its installed

Scanning Experience

Scanning your computer is probably a very mundane task. As with Security Essentials, there is no glitz or glamour, its quite reminiscent of using Windows Defender. I notice that when I started scanning a 2 GB USB Thumb drive, the system started feeling sluggish. Although I understand that this is still a beta, it was quite noticeable and I started hearing my computer fan spinning up loudly. I checked Task Manager to see how much memory MSE was consuming and I was quite surprised by how little it was, a total of 4 MBs. The scanning process took approximately 11 mins to complete. I went ahead and did a scan of my local disk which took approximately 40 mins (20 GBs). Overall its good and the memory usage is quite impressive.

Conclusion

What I like most about Microsoft Security Essentials apart from being free is the focus on simplicity with substance. The interface features a clean, well organized design that’s easy to work with and maintain. Integration with Windows technologies like Security Center in XP/Vista and Action Center in Windows 7 will provide the cohesive experience that users expect from security utilities such as this. When combined with Windows 7’s rich suite of security technologies already built in such as UAC, DEP, Patch Guard, Safe Unlinking and ASLR, users will certainly enjoy an even more complete security experience. Its early days yet, but Microsoft is doing something I believe that’s right for both Windows and its user base. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if Windows came with a program like Security Essentials already built in. With a strong brand identity behind it and I am sure strong marketing, this will encourage users to ensure that their Windows PC is protected.

Availability

Microsoft is providing Security Essentials as a limited beta open to 75,000 potential testers in the following countries: United States, United Kingdom, Israel (English only), People’s Republic of China (Simplified Chinese only) and Brazil (Brazilian Portuguese only).

Related

Download Microsoft Security Essentials Link should be live at 12 ET
Introducing ‘Microsoft Security Essentials’
Microsoft Windows Defender Beta 2 Preview

Resources

Security Changes to AutoRun in Windows 7
Windows Security Blog: Windows 7 Security: Helping Enable the Mobile Workforce
Windows Team Blog: Windows 7: A New Approach to Securing Today’s Enterprise
Enhanced Security features in Windows 7

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ActiveWin.com: Windows 7 Release Candidate Build 7100 Preview

Here is my formal review of Windows 7 Release Candidate just published on ActiveWin.com. Although the RC has been out a good while now, its still a great read that takes a hard look at some of the other deep innovations and benefits this release of Windows introduces.

What can I say? Windows 7 just keeps getting better. It’s been a long pause since January 7th 2009, but Microsoft has finally quenched our thirst with a brand new build of the next version of the Company’s desktop operating system and not just any build either. Release Candidate signifies Microsoft is on the road to RTM. A Release Candidate build often gives a hint of a development release that could potentially become the final product. Microsoft has also confirmed that Windows 7 will be finalized in the second half of July, with General Availability expected by October 22nd 2009. I have covered Windows 7 since the early alpha build 6801 released to attendees at the Professional Developers Conference late October 2008. I am not going to go over everything, just some technologies and components that I never got to look at in build 7000 and some of the improvements Microsoft has made since the last build and a look at some scenarios such as in-place upgrading and Anytime Upgrade.

Read the entire preview here

Related

ActiveWin.com: Microsoft Windows Live Essentials – Review

 

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Upgrading to…ur Migrating to Windows 7 from Windows XP

Yep, there are many Windows XP users out there who continue to enjoy it. But they are hearing about Windows 7 a lot lately and all the really cool new features it offers, from desktop improvements to how you do things easier like networking, organization of files and better performance. You want a piece of that action, but there are some things you still don’t know about it, like. Can I upgrade to Windows 7? Will my current hardware work with Windows 7? What about my personal settings, will those survive the move to Windows 7…from Windows XP?

Well, I want to find out too, since I have friends who are still running Windows XP. So what I did was, setup a scenario which involved Windows 7 and Windows XP to find out if it was possible or even easy to make the move to this major upgrade of Windows. Now, back to those questions:

Can I upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows XP?

I checked and the answer is no, see the screenshot above. Good news though, Windows XP users will definitely qualify for upgrade pricing. The reason why Microsoft has decided not to support a Windows XP upgrade path to Windows 7 stems from the complexity involved. The Windows Team wants the best possible experience, because of the significant changes that have occurred since Vista, there are just too many variables involved that can potentially make the upgrade experience an unsatisfactory one. So, a clean install is the recommended and only way to get Windows 7 installed on your system for Windows XP users. Don’t worry yet, I know you have files and settings you don’t want to lose, I am going to take a look at getting those over.

Will my current hardware work with Windows 7?

That depends on what you have. Windows 7’s official requirements call for the following:

  • 1 GHz 32 or 64 bit PC
  • 1 GB of RAM (2 GBs for 64 bit systems)
  • 18 GBs of free hard disk space
  • DirectX 9 compliant video card with 128 MBs of video RAM
  • Internet Connection for access to additional services and activation of appropriate software

If you are in the above line up, you should be good to go. Some persons will be able to get away with some unofficial hardware configurations. I for instance have been running Windows 7 on 512 MBs of RAM. But I have a customized setup not requiring all the features of the OS. So your mileage will vary. Many have described Windows 7 as a significant release of the OS that actually improves the performance of your PC.

Will my applications work with Windows 7?

Now this is a tough one. Windows is known as the operating system that tries its very best to make it easy to run your old applications on the latest version. But there is always the possibility of compatibility issues. Windows 7 in particular just like Windows Vista will likely have problems with applications that also had problems in that version. Please note though, this does necessarily apply to all applications, there have been successful reports of applications that did not work in Vista, now working just fine in Windows 7. To help users evaluate their current setup, Microsoft recently provided the Windows Upgrade Advisor which analyzes and checks your system for potential software and hardware conflicts. Its a great starting point for Windows XP users who want to move to Windows 7. With over 1.2 billion Windows PC configurations though, there will certainly be hiccups.

Before you even pop the Windows 7 disk into your disk drive, you can do a few things. Like check the manufacturer of your devices for updated drivers or information about Windows 7 support. For applications you can do the same by checking the developers web site for updates or new versions.

What to do if its not compatible?

You have a few options:

  1. Wait until a new version or update is released.
  2. Acquire another brand that works with Windows 7.
  3. Don’t bother with the upgrade at all.

Number 2 and 3 in particular might be tough decisions to make considering that the application or device is already working just fine in Windows XP. But users must understand that upgrading to Windows 7 is not just upgrading for upgrades sake. The operating system is easier to use, more reliable and definitely more secure. The day will come when you won’t receive updates for Windows XP anymore and that current device will most likely become unsupported when a problem does arise. This is not a scare tactic, its just how the hardware and software industry works. There is always a new version in the works to replace the old one. This is all theoretical though, so don’t worry.

For potential customers of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate, Microsoft is providing a feature called Windows Virtual XP, which enhances the application compatibility experience in Windows 7. This is great especially for business customers who might still be running legacy applications on Windows XP. Another great thing about Virtual XP is, you can run your legacy applications side by side within Windows 7 without having to interact with the Windows XP operating side of things. It’s a powerful utility for users and businesses who want to maintain compatibility while transitioning to the latest. To learn more about Windows Virtual XP, check out my experiences with it here

In the screenshot from earlier, the Compatibility Report suggest that we use the Windows Easy Transfer utility. And that is what we will now do. Lucky for us, Windows 7 already comes with the Migration Tools on the disk. To find it, just navigate to x:\support\migwiz, ‘x:’ represents the name of your disk drive. In this folder, you will see a collection of files, the important one you need to look for and double click is ‘migsetup‘. This will launch the setup program for Windows Easy Transfer software that will be installed on your Windows XP computer.

Preparing to install the Windows Easy Transfer software on Windows XP

The last time I used Windows Easy Transfer to move files from Windows 7 to a new Windows 7 PC, I discussed the different options available for transferring your items to a new computer.

Windows Easy Transfer wizard

Identifying the PC from which you are transferring files

  • An Easy Transfer cable is specifically designed to work with Easy Transfer to move your personal data from an old PC to a new computer.
  • Network – which is the method I will be using for this tutorial, requires that both PC’s have a network port installed and using a CAT5 cable to connect both computers.
  • If you have an external hard disk with sufficient space, you can let Easy Transfer backup your data in a single file.

  • Using an External storage device is faster and convenient

    Our choice specifically this time will be ‘An external hard disk or USB flash drive. Its particularly best when moving large amounts of data from Windows XP to Windows 7 since there is no upgrade path and the restoration will be much smoother.

     

    Scanning data and accounts to be transferred

    Choosing the location where the Easy Transfer file will be saved, optional password

    Saving data and settings

    A successful backup of your files and settings!

    So we have backed up everything. The next step now involves installing Windows 7. One thing Windows XP users must note, your applications will not survive a clean install and will require reinstallation. So please make sure you have those program disks available when you are ready to do so.

    You have two options, you can launch Windows 7 setup in Windows XP or you can boot from the Windows 7 disk. If you plan on booting from your disk, ensure that your BIOS is set to boot from its optical drive. If you decide to launch setup from within Windows XP, you must select ‘Custom (advanced)‘ option. What does this entail?

    Preparing to do a clean installation of Windows 7

    Preparing the partition on which Windows 7 will be installed

  • Selecting Custom installs a new copy of Windows. This option does not keep your files, settings, and programs. The option to make changes to disks and partitions is available when you start your computer using the installation disc.

  • Installing Windows 7 over Windows XP will move files and folders to a folder named Windows.old. You will be able to access the information in Windows.old, but you will not be able to use your previous version of Windows.

    Windows 7 has definitely made it clear about moving to it from Windows XP and the pre-requisites necessary. Its a clean install, applications will not be available and you should of course backup before attempting the migration. Since we have done all of these necessary things, we will go ahead and start the installation. The installation is typical of a clean install, if you don’t know what that is like, please refer to my experience here

    So, after completing the installation, you would like to restore those personal files and settings. Connect your external drive or wherever you backed your Windows Easy Transfer file to. Launch the Windows Easy Transfer wizard – Start > type: Transfer > hit enter.

    Selecting the Restoration method and identifying your computer

    Connecting and navigating to where your Easy Transfer file is stored

    Enter your password if you created one and select what to transfer

    Restoring your data

    After restoring your data and settings, you can view a report of what was transferred, along with what you will need to reinstall.

    …and finally, a restart to apply necessary settings.

    Follow the wizard and navigate to the location where the Easy Transfer file is stored. Enter your password if you had created one and the wizard will complete the restoration of files and settings. You can check the Easy Transfer Report when it is finished, which will detail what you will need to reinstall, along with what was restored. After this is completed, you will be asked to restart your computer.

    …and there you have it, a successful migration from Windows XP to Windows 7

    Windows XP users should note that applications that once came bundled with Windows XP are not included in the OS such as Email and video editing software. You can download third party equivalents or download and install Windows Live Essentials which includes updated successors to these programs.

    Conclusion

    Windows XP users can take confidence in the migration experience that Windows 7 provides. Yes, there are some requirements that are involved and appropriate planning of course can help to overcome some of the hurdles. The experiences promised at the end is definitely worth it!

    Recommendations:

    Windows Upgrade Advisor – Find out how ready your Windows XP system is for Windows 7.

    External hard disk – these can come in very handy. If you have lots of data stored on your Windows XP PC, you will need a good amount of storage to back it up. External hard disk these days are very affordable and you can pick up a 500 GB below US $80.

    Have those program disks nearby – After completing the migration, you will need to reinstall all your necessary programs. Common apps include office productivity suites, finance software and any other favorite applications you often use in Windows XP.

    Check for updates – after completing the installation, check for updates for the operating system, computer and your applications. This will improve stability, security, performance and compatibility.

    Have security software installed. There are many free antivirus solutions out there, your existing one for XP is most likely not compatible with Windows 7. Antivirus programs tend to work specifically with the operating system version. You can find a list of available antiviral programs for Windows 7 here

    Resources

    Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
    How to install Windows 7 on your Netbook using a USB Key
    Using and benefiting from Virtual Windows XP
    A Quick Look: Customizing your Windows 7 Installation
    Windows Easy Transfer: Lessons Learned
    Installation: Starting the Move to Windows 7 Release Candidate
    Windows Live Essentials the Recap

     

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    Update x2: Introducing ‘Microsoft Security Essentials’

    Has a nice ring to it, don’t? Yesterday I blogged about an early leak of what appeared to be Microsoft’s forthcoming AntiVirus and AntiSpyware technology, code named ‘Morro’. That build has now been confirmed as rather old with the release (leak) of a new build carrying the said to be official brand name "Microsoft Security Essentials’. Arstechnica’s One Microsoft Way blog provides a thorough gallery of screenshots detailing everything from setup to working in a much slicker UI than what we saw yesterday.

    Microsoft Security Essentials

    Learn more here

    What I find most surprising yet very welcoming about Security Essentials is the size of the installer, ranging from 3 to 7 MBs depending on which Windows platform you install it on. I honestly hope Microsoft provides a single 32 and 64 bit installer instead of the array of installers for XP, XP x64, Vista x64, Vista x86. The interface looks clean, easy to use and navigate. If it works as good as it looks, then I will gladly replace my Symantec EndPoint subscription.

    It is not known whether Security Essentials will come bundled with Windows 7, but I personally wouldn’t mind as I believe just like other functionality that has been consumed by operating system’s over the years, security technology such as Antivirus and AntiSpyware should be a fundamental part of the OS. Did I mention how small in size the installer is too? I can’t wait to test this utility! I hope the Windows Live Team includes this in the next version of Windows Live Essentials too since it would complete the suites focus on providing a end to end set of experiences for consumers.

    Mary Jo Foley of ZDNET’s All About Microsoft blog provides some further details about Microsoft Security Essentials and its availability, click here to learn more.

    Meanwhile, Ed Bott of ZDNET’s Microsoft Report has an early preview of the software here

    PC Magazine also has an early review of Microsoft Security Essentials here

    Update:

    Elinor Mills of CNET’s Security blog notes that the beta of Microsoft Security Essentials will be made available next week, June 23rd.

    Related

    Microsoft’s Antivirus solution of to-‘morro’

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