Microsoft has offered their own Firewall Software, bundled with their Operating Systems for some time now: it installs when you install the OS -- and now they have a complete Internet Security Software package. I can only hope they will bundle it with Windows 7 in the future.
While the free AV software packages do work and do a good job by and large, they are essentially advertisements for their not-free, for-pay, big brothers and are usually crippled in some way. Either they do not update automatically, or they pop up Ad Messages for the commercial up-grade, or won't let you do a deep scan, or something.
I am not sure why Microsoft decided to offer MSE at this time, but I wonder if the screams of customers, many with infected brand new machines, who painfully discover that they cannot safely connect to the Internet without purchasing a 3rd party program, have something to do with it.
In fact, I think that all PCs should come with basic Anti-Virus and Firewall software out of the box. Just the same way cars come with airbags these days.
We are one step closer to that now.
Meanwhile, unless you have some arcane and special need that Microsoft Security Essentials can't satisfy, I heartily recommend that you install it next time you are asked to renew an Internet Security or Anti-Virus subscription, or need Anti-Virus software.
It is available for the 64 bit and 32 bit versions of Windows 7 and Vista, and the 32 bit XP.
Symantec has begun to remind me that my Norton Internet Security is due for renewal in 7 days and they want $45 from me to do that.
No, not gonna happen.
MSE is already installed.
Meantime, Ive still got SpyBot and AVG Free installed, until I'm certain MSE is doing its job, but, I am hopeful.
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