Microsoft has released a free downloadable antivirus package – its second foray into the security software sector after its unpopular paid-for antivirus was discontinued earlier this year.
Users can download Microsoft Security Essentials, which protects PCs from viruses, trojans, rootkits, and spyware, from today. The package is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
“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.
Prior to releasing Security Essentials, Microsoft Windows Live OneCare security product was available to buy but failed to win a significant portion of the consumer market. The company withdrew the software in June.