Microsoft Security Essentials: A User’s First Look at MSE Beta

Microsoft Security Essentials, also known as “Morro”, was officially released as BETA to the public Tuesday, 23 Jun 2009.  This article gives you a quick first look at it.  If you want to look at it yourself, you can download it at https://connect.microsoft.com/securityessentials, but you’ll need an account in connect.microsoft.com (just make one if you don’t have one; it’s free).

OK.  Here’s a quick look at MSE’s user interface.

When you’ve installed it, you will see this icon on your traybar:  mse-traybar-icon

When you open it, you will the following four tabs:  Home, Update, History, and Settings.

mse-home

mse-update

mse-history

mse-settings

After you install it, MSE will perform its initial scan.  When it did the scan, I checked to see how it was doing with respect to resources and how it was affecting the performance of my computer.  And to my surprise, it was very forgiving.  I was able to do work without having to wait or be affected by MSE scan because apparently it generally tries to run when your computer is idle.  So, when you are busy doing other things, it does release the CPU resource as needed.  Check the task manager below and you’ll see that when I was idle the CPU was at 100%, then I started working and the CPU utilization went down.

mse-no-takeover-cpu

Also check out the detailed performance below.  If you aren’t idle, it does get out of your way.

mse-cpu

Its memory utilization, for an AV product, doesn’t look that bad.

mse-mem-use

Of course, I can’t really tell at this point how effective it is in catching malware.  I’ll save that for someone else to do.  For now, know that it is out there and seems to be running just fine.


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