Beta for Next Version of Microsoft Security Essentials Now Available

Beta for Next Version of Microsoft Security Essentials Now Available

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Today we are announcing the beta for the next version of Microsoft Security Essentials. Microsoft Security Essentials was first released in September 2009 and is our award-winning no-cost light weight anti-malware service. It’s designed to help address the ongoing security needs of PCs running genuine Windows – helping keep people protected from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

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New features in the beta of Microsoft Security Essentials 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.

* For Windows XP users: Please note that the network inspection system feature will not be enabled on Windows XP. This is because the network inspection system requires the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) in order to run, and WFP is only available in Windows Vista and Windows 7. However, if you are running Windows XP, you can still use all other beta features. 

To download the beta of Microsoft Security Essentials, click here to visit the Microsoft Connect page to register for the beta. Once completed – you will find the instructions for downloading and installing the beta. We value your feedback – beta participants are encouraged to provide feedback about their experiences with Microsoft Security Essentials through Microsoft Connect. Please note that this is a limited beta available in English (U.S.), Israel, and Brazilian Portuguese (the beta will also be available in China in Simplified Chinese later this year) and is available to genuine Windows users on a first come, first serve basis until the allotted spots for the beta have been reached.

I’ve already commenced with beta testing for Microsoft Security Essentials – I am running it on all my PCs at home!

UPDATE: We are aware that some users are having issues downloading the Microsoft Security Essentials beta after signing into Microsoft Connect and we are working on resolving the issue. In the meantime, you can use the file transfer manager within Microsoft Connect to download the beta files. After logging into the Microsoft Connect site for the Microsoft Security Essentials beta, click ‘Download Microsoft Security Essentials Beta’,  select the version of Microsoft Security Essentials beta that is right for you (32 or 64 bit), and then click the Download button (Download selected file(s) using FTM).

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45 Comments
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  • Problem Microsoft Security Essentials ‏

    I ask to excuse for quality of a wire transfer.

    Dear creators of Microsoft Security Essentials!

    I in a notebook had problems with the keypad. Keys "t", "y", "[", BACKSPACE, TAB, SHIFT (under the right hand SHIFT works) don't work. At check by the program of Microsoft Security Essentials the keypad has earned normally. However at new switching-on of a notebook of a problem with the keypad have returned again. What to do?

  • I'm using MSE and I'm very satisfied, while MSE is providing lightweight security on my Win7 system.

    Can you estimate, when the next version of MSE will be released? In Q4 2010?

    Kind regards,

    Daniel Schunk

  • One feature desperately missing is the possibility to exclude network shares from real time protection.

    Also I don't like the fact that MSE has to integrate with Microsoft Update. Mainly because, on older slower machines running XP, Microsoft Update is such a terrible resource hog (100% CPU, 300+MB MEM usage) that the machines become unusable. Installing Windows Installer 4.5 helps a bit, but I have to do it by hand. For whatever reason windows doesn't update the Windows Installer past 3.1...

  • Just installing on a rebuild of an xp machine and the first thing I wanted to do before exposing the machine to the internet is install mse beta. The  installer immediately stopped saying it needed a filter rollup package and giving a link. On clicking the link I.E . opened and froze leaving me to go to windows update for sp3.....

    I was once caught on a brand new xp install before. Having just connected to the internet I became infected with the dreaded blaster virus.

    Given that any machine that becomes infected is forever compromised.... Why is it that  mse is not "self contained"enough to install on a fresh copy of any "current MS OS" without recourse to the internet where the machine could be infected before installation of the security software?

    None of the other security suites need other downloadable pieces before at least providing basic coverage.

    Before anyone comes back and says xp is not current.... go look at a few of the latest netbooks on offer.

    Don't get me wrong....Love MSE but this just seems like defeating the purpose

  • I've used SE since it was announced.  This PC is running XP / SP3, and is registered for all MICROSOFT updates.  Lately, when opening either INTERNET EXPLORER (ver 8.) or OUTLOOK EXPRESS, it takes forever for a screen to load and/or refresh.  And, when they finally do, it is blotchy.  This morning for instance it took over 5 minutes for this website to become activated.  I received an e-mail notification from MICROSOFT yesterday regarding reducing SPAM.  One of the features was the offer to download the latest "beta" of SE.  I've been attempting to do this since BEFORE 8 A.M.  For reference, it is now 8:35 A.M.  Presently, the icon in the lower right hand corner is indicating an orange flag condition.  First thing this morning a screen appeared alerting me that SE was disabled.  Later on in the IPL process, the color of the "tent" changed to green, and as I said, it is now orange.  I have not yet attempted to download the latest beta version.  The only other malware programs that COULD be running in the background are MICROSOFT DEFENDER.  I had ONE CARE loaded at one time but have since removed it since MICROSOFT abandoned it several yeaars ago.  The only commercially available malware programs installed are CCLEANER, MALWAREBYTE'S ANTIMALWARE & AD-AWARE SE, which I haven't upgraded in years.  This PC is used MOSTLY for program-generation/editing for PLC controllers and for direct contact w/ technical vendors / websites.

  • Could you make sure the Java directories are included in the Quick Scan? Java in combination with Chrome results in a lot of threats/exploits.

  • Seems Great. I can't see much visual change. Some more indicators would be nice such as firewall active etc. I would also suggest that deployment via Windows update and WSUS is added. Another feature to add would be an indicator of exploited software on the device. If i look at the Microsoft SIR report it shows software versions that are currently targeted by viruses that are not necessarily MS applications. Put an indicator of some of these targeted software and versions are found. This would also include specifc MS updates or software that are currently targeted. I would not go for every piece of software. But if we know the top 100 security holes being currently exploited on a global scale. Notify the user and preferably fix them or give the user enough advice to be able to sort it out. ie: You are running Adobe Reader v6 it is currently being targeted by the 100 top viruses in the world....Update to new release here or unistall here.

    Found another issue. USB viruses are detected when they try to spread to the main drive however...the usb drive is never cleaned as users don't think to clean them. If a virus is detected on any media it should prompt to clean the virus and to also automatically scan the relevant device for other infections. We find many usb flash drives carry viruses that remain forever as no one seems to go back and clean up.

    Maybe another indicator would be windows updates enabled...bit of duplication i suppose with action centre.

  • Dex
    1 Posts

    I'm testing now this beta :)...hope for more good results :)

  • rex1213
    2 Posts

    Let me correct my post above. It was MalwareResearchGroup that tested MSE and noticed the lack of self-protection module.

    Here is the link:

    malwareresearchgroup.com

  • rex1213
    2 Posts

    If I am allowed to suggest for improvements on MSE, it would have to be:

    1. Improvements in the scanning speed while still being efficient on system resources.

    2. SELF-PROTECTION Module - this feature has been available on Avira and Avast for quite some time now. A feature that should protect MSE-related processes from unwanted termination (such as MSE's Real-Time guard) and should prevent malware from altering MSE's registry entries.

    Self-protection is where MSE fails according to an Av-Test.org testing. Read it here published(translated using Google Translate):

    translate.google.com/translate

    3. If there are some changes to the registry, MSE should be able to flag at least a warning. I guess Windows Defender used to have that feature, which I think is useful.

    4. Support for browsers other than IE for its upcoming "protection against web-based threats" feature. Firefox, Chrome and Opera, if possible, should be supported as well.

  • in my opinion, mse is not a good dicided for xp

  • I would like to mostly-retract my earlier comments.  The digital certificates included within the Microsoft Security Essentials executable should provide acceptable security against man-in-the-middle compromise of the download.  I overlooked this perhaps because my "secure" Windows system was set to only allow access to the internet from "Trusted Sites" and only to allow https:// sites in the trusted zone.  I was willing to drop that security temporarily if there was an alternate secure mechanism in play which I could verify, and I now recognize I can do so by right-clicking on the executable and viewing it's digital certificate properties.

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  • kcrannie
    31 Posts

    I agree with greg_nj, why not rename Microsoft Security Essentials to Microsoft Internet Security.

  • When you release the new Security Essentials version, can you provide some mechanism where, preferrably by default, people can download SecurityEssentials over a secure channel (SSL/HTTPS), rather than the only download link being HTTP? I was stunned, but not shocked, to find Microsoft was distributing core security software so insecurely. HTTPS isn't that hard (although I recognize there might be a beauracracy at Microsoft to host it that way, but hey, isn't security a top priority?)

    While Microsoft Connect uses HTTPS, the distribution links at www.microsoft.com/securityessentials are essentially HTTP-only.

    (One can try to modify the link from HTTP to HTTPS manually like I tried, but the cert doesn't match and IE8 doesn't like downloading files when that occurs, or at least thats what it seems like is occurring.)

    I am trying to build a secure Windows system at home, and I find it really frustrating that Microsoft encourages me to build my security infrastructure, my immune system, off of a set of bits that are transmitted insecurely and can be tampered with in-transit via Man-in-the-Middle or DNS attacks.  (And as a user, I have no way to verify if that has happened, MD5 checksums or whatnot.  Why can't I at least get a secure download from a certified website?)

    As more security-knowledgeable people become more aware of SecurityEssentials, you really would serve Microsoft's reputation well if you got this fixed.  (I knew Microsoft had an AV product but I didn't know SecurityEssentials by name until I searched for it this past week.)

  • Mike81
    1 Posts

    i dont get it why dose ms use this stupid C:\Windows\Temp. i mean its pretty useless and that was one of the problems in version 1.0 since june 30 2010 in SE the updates would fail by clicking the update button or using windows update and would install a second time. its all ms is fault and i glad u guys fixed the problem in version 1.0 a few days ago.

    now i have seen C:\Windows\Temp. from a few comments below that ppl who installed the beta version of 2.0 well looks like i wont be installing it untill the final version comes out i need to be protected cuz i leave my computers on and when i go to it i dont wanna see unprotected. hope C:\Windows\Temp. is not in the final version in 2.0.

  • i am using MSE Beta 2.0.375 and I am loving the small footprint on the system. My suggestion in the settings is how often to check for updates. I have to manually edit the registry to change this. Microsoft puts out 3 updates a day from what I can tell and after changing the registry it updates multiple times a day. I go into overkill and set it to check every 2 hours.

  • I have personally tried the Beta Version of Microsoft Security Essentials, and found some bugs to be fixed in the full version..i have found the following bugs in the beta version :

    1. The context menu didn't show the "Scan with Microsoft Security Essential" for the specific drive.

    2. Scanning speed is Slowed Down.

    3. Stability issue has been detected.

  • Microsoft Security Essentials x32 Win XP & Win 7 Home Edition is very reliable as anti malware.

  • Please create some sort of API so other browsers can utilize the browser protection features of MSE. Maybe when IE9 comes out I'll consider using IE, but a vast majority of your tech users use something else.

  • Thom
    31 Posts

    As much as I love MSE I am bewildered that its UI looks so out of place in Windows 7. Your designers really should at least try to follow your companies own UX guidelines.

    It would be much more useful to have this as an optional download as part of the Windows Live suite but, again, the UI doesn't match them either. I'm not saying it should use the ribbon but perhaps follow what IE9 (and other ribbon-less apps) use.

  • Semmal
    8 Posts

    I have been using MSE 1.0 for quite some time and I do believe this is a good product and an ideal solution to all the security issues with their OS.  You probably know your house better than others and can do a better job securing it :)

    Having said that (like others in the blog), I do have a few comments

    1. Does Microsoft really plan on being in this product for long-term.  If so, they need to market the heck out of it; send out toasters, messages, online ads, etc - just to make sure everyone knows subconsciously that there is a product called MSE and it is among the best in terms of securing Windows OS.  I work for one of the top tier companies & even here most dont know about MSE.  If in a tech company there is ignorance; just imagine the millions and millions of common users who have Windows OS.

    2. Like in another comment, Microsoft should avoid branding this as only "anti-malware" product.  They need to generalize the terminology to something better.

    3. If I left-click on the system tray icon, it should open up the UI; instead I only see an option with "open" button.  Not sure if this is just in 2.0 (as I just now upgraded to this Beta).

    4. You had mentioned that this protects against network threats, has firewall coupling & has IE BHO, etc; however, these details are not reflected in the UI.  I believe this should show up somewhere in the "home" tab.  Right now, we only have  "Real-time protection" as ON & "Virus and spyware definitions:" as "Up to date".  We need all the new details also to show up in this "home" tab list.  Visual cue to the use is also equally important like the functionalities.  As of now, the only UI difference I could notice between 1.0 and 2.0 is the background image.

    5. In the "Update" tab "Did you know?" section, there is a mention that if the automatic updates do not work, the user still needs to get the latest updates.  Good point, but HOW ?  You need to at least provide a KB article or give a link where I can download the latest definitions with details on where to save those files so MSE can update itself with.

    6. "History" tab should contain details of not just the whitelist / blacklist items; but also the history of all the scans ever run including the type of scan (quick / full / custom) and the result in a simplistic way.

    7.  It would be good if the "Scan removable drives" option is selected by default in the "Settings" tab, "Advanced" section.

    Just my thoughts :) please ignore if incorrect.

  • It would be very good if the next version of MSE supported the Windows Home Server operating system (both the current version and Vail)...

  • and also when we click on the down arrow next to help it should contain a "FEEDBACK" button, so if we ever encounter any problems we can provide feedback to microsoft and a fix will be available. Even MSE will be the best =D

  • I reckon that the Beta 2 of Microsoft Security Essentials should also include software explorer just like in Windows Defender. MSE will be even better =D

  • I am researching now whether or not to go for the Beta version of MSE. Honestly, I don't want my enamored feelings towards the stable version to be disengaged. I've been very impressed as of late with MS, so I'm kind of riding that high.

    From the looks of things around here, however, maybe it is worth the try.

    I agree with that lack of support for non-MS web-browsers. Although I anticipate the release of IE9, Google Chrome has earned my trust, and although it is a relatively secure browser--without plug-ins--it's nice to have that extra layer of protection.

    I'm sure that maintaining MSE's lightness which adding more RAM-requesting operations (such as browser integration) is a difficult task to accomplish. Surely, with IE9's intent to follow more web standards than any previous MS-OS, MSE should be able to provide adequate protection across the board--including Opera.

    Great blog..glad I went looking for new news today re: MSE!

  • qiziq
    23 Posts

    Had no problem with install except that "install" window did not pop up and I had to install from file location.  Also did not create desktop shortcut and program shows up as updated MSE instead of new Beta.  I agree that MSE should come bundled with any new PC featuring Windows 7.  This is an instance where the interests of your consumers should outweigh the interests of your partners!

  • kcrannie
    31 Posts

    Microsoft Security Essentials a great product.  I can see the next future OS where Microsoft has MSE as a bundled package which includes Firewall and AntiVirus & Spyware protection free-of-charge included in the price of the purchase of the computer.  A lifetime product of protection.    It would beat having to pay for for 3rd party venture software.  A free-of-charge preinstalled Internet Security Suite, now that's something to think about.  McAfee and Norton which comes preinstalled on practically all computers today is absolute crap.

  • "they should make the system tray icon for MSE white so it matches the windows 7 sys tray icons. "

    I second that!

    + it will be easier to distinguish it from "Safely remove hardware". Both feature a white check on a green background.

    I always have it because

    a) I use a docking station

    b) I use an ext. hdd

    c) my internal hdd is hot swappable (?)

    Features:

    -Firewall "integration" is a joke - just another "Next>" during setup.

    -protection from web based threats... - I don't use IE, it feels slow to me (no add-ons, accelerators or toolbars), but still good to be protected

    -faster engine - can't say from 10 min, but the 1.0 would sometimes dramatically slow down my P8600@2.40 GHz so there surely is room for improvement

    -anti-network exploits... nice to have

    -the new background is really great, reminds me of Forefront / System Center / SQL in the cloud. please don't remove in final version.

    Bye

  • You know, they should make the system tray icon for MSE white so it matches the windows 7 sys tray icons. It would look better.

  • Well I finally got it installed using the FTM DL. Pretty good, I'll keep it installed next to avast and test it out.

  • I hope MSE team is even considering fixing these issues - www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php

    I have discussed these issues with a number of people and all of them are affected by it. This is something that is very surprising when competing free products do not exhibit such traits. So much for being light weight. A recent test at raymond.cc confirmed the performance hit caused by MSE. It was the worst scorer among all freebies tested.

  • iloman
    3 Posts

    Saying that it is a light weight anti-malware service really doesn't do it enough justice.  From the Security Essentials website, "Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software."    It's a lot more than just anti-malware!

    I agree with the request to work with other web browsers.  I understand they are competing products, but it would be nice if it could work across multiple products.  Right now the "thing" that is recommended by a lot of sites for netbooks is Windows 7, Chrome (because of it's small screen footprint), and Security Essentials (because it is so lightweight and effective).  Keeping everyone safe and protected can only be a good thing.

  • For folks having problems downloading the beta - please see above blog post as I've updated it. Thanks!

  • One thing I'd highly recommend, btw, is to remember that it shouldn't just be IE integration... provide a tie-in to Firefox and Chrome as well, or at least give the option.

  • Would love to try it out, but the x64 version keeps timing out at 7.48MB mark whether I'm using Firefox or IE8.

  • Web Guy
    19 Posts

    I love the software but I have one suggestion, please stop it from adding a desktop icon each time I update the program.  Very annoying.

  • @JohnCz It will run fine, Atom is more powerful than you think and MSE is light.

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    Just a suggestion to the MSE team, make sure this runs really well on Windows Slate devices based on the ATOM processor.

  • @The MAZZTer It is false. I can sit down with no internet and install a perfectly safe application and MSE will detect something stupid in C:\Windows\Temp. I have Avast and I don't have  false alerts, and Avast is considered one of the best anti-viruses out there by todays standards.

  • Already on the perpetual beta list, will have to try this

    @James Manes Be careful. it might not be as false as you think it is.  But whether it is or not, just use Disk Cleanup to clear out Temp.  Problem solved.

  • The server connection times out for me, too. I tried on two different PCs (Win 7 and Vista, both 32 bit) and with both IE8 and Firefox. Odds are that the issue is on your end.

  • Never mind... the server connection keeps reseting before I can finish the download. :/ Well I'll test it later then.

  • MSE x64 beta tells me it is not a valid win32 application. lol. Guess I'll see if the 32 bit one works... hoping you all just accidentally switched up the executables in the DL area.

  • I think your link is broken! I have tried SE before and I ended up going back to avast. SE kept founding false positives in C:\Windows\Temp. I'll try the beta and get back with everyone.