There has been a lot of talk about Microsoft Security Essentials (Codename Morro) so i decided to acquire a copy from a colleague at HP for testing. So i fired up my lab pc’s, which include a few flavours of Windows, including 32bit and 64bit Versions of Vista.

I am a Symantec Platform specialist, within the Symantec Product group i specialist specifically around Anti-Virus (Endpoint Protection and Anti Virus Corporate). The big thing for me is always Memory footprint, size of the install and ease of rollout; These are very important things to consider if for example you’ve got remote users who may connect to your network over slow VPN links, software deployments may take days or weeks to download correctly.

To my surprise the Morro install was very small!

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That’s a pretty small install for an Anti-Virus product, in general i have seen installs range from 25 – 110mb. So i fired up Microsoft System Center essentials and set the deployment group.

For those interested to deploy Microsoft Security Essentials via an Application deployment suite the initial beta does support silent install.

Execute as follows: setup.exe /s /runwgacheck

How does it stack up ?

Pretty well actually, over the course of a day my lab pc’s all installed Microsoft Security Essentials,

I downloaded a test sample from http://www.eicar.org/anti_virus_test_file.htm ** Word of warning tho, even tho this is a test file you should try this in isolation and off your network until the antivirus software you are running has cleared the infection.

Security essentials picked up the file immediately before i had even saved it do disk, in fact it prevented me from doing so as it had locked the file in my Temporary internet cache.

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What’s also great is that Morro works directly out of the box on Windows 7!

Context Menu’s are back!

A favourite of mine is the Context menu’s, im always suspicious of downloading zip files for add-ons or maps for games etc… so i like to scan the file before i execute it to stop any execute it.

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Final thoughts

The thing i love about the new “Essentials” approach that Microsoft is taking is that you get only what you need, in large enterprise solutions we talk about OS Baselines and we determine these to be the Base security prevention on Servers and Clients. Security Essentials will bring a free security baseline to Home and small businesses, with later OS’s like Vista and Windows 7 the combination of Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Advanced firewall is certainly more than adequate to protect any computer.