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Microsoft releases free security software

Microsoft Security Essentials is making its debut later today in nineteen countries including the US, UK and Australia

Microsoft has released Security Essentials software to the world.
Microsoft has released Security Essentials software to the world.

Microsoft's new security software is being rolled out as a free download in nineteen countries later today, but a Microsoft Gulf spokesperson has confirmed that a localised version for the Middle East will be available only later this year.

Microsoft's latest offering - Security Essentials - protects consumers from viruses, spyware and malware, and will be released freely without any registration and renewal demands in an effort to "encourage broader adoption of anti-virus protection."

"Consumers have told us that they want the protection of real-time security software but we know that too many are either unwilling or unable to pay for it, and so end up unprotected," said Amy Barzdukas, general manager for consumer security at Microsoft. "With Microsoft Security Essentials, consumers can get high-quality protection that is easy to get and easy to use - and it won't get in their way."

Initially codenamed ‘Morro', the new offering replaces Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare paid-for security suite that was killed at the end of June 2009.

Microsoft Security Essentials will be released in eight languages across nineteen markets including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia later today but Ahmer Hasan , Server & Tools Business Group Manager at Microsoft Gulf told itp.net that: "Additional countries such as the Middle East will be covered in the near future over this year and 2010."

It will be available for Windows XP SP2 or SP3, Windows Vista and Windows 7 including Windows XP mode on both x32 and x64 PCs through a download on the company's website - http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials.

The release of Microsoft Security Essentials is set to challenge security firms such as McAfee and Symantec that boast similar services for a price.