Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) yesterday announced that it will allow free downloads of its new Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus program for registered private customers. The beta version of the program has been available for several months. Owners of legal versions of Microsoft Windows can download Microsoft Security Essentials without registering. The program also works on thin hardware such as Netboxes.
Development of Microsoft Security Essentials began in December 2008 at the Microsoft Israel R&D center in Herzliya Pituach. A team of dozens of programmers, overseen by Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie, handled the development.
Microsoft Israel product team leader Shai Kariv said, "We've added new options for private users with our antivirus. The product uses the latest antivirus technologies. It's easy to use, download, and maintain, and it's free. There's no need to register anywhere, and there's no advertising on it."
"Globes": How will the new antivirus affect the competition against the for-pay option?
Kariv: "That's hard to assess at this time, but that's not our goal. For-pay programs do good work protecting Windows, and we're targeting customers who don’t install antivirus programs. Our emphasis isn't to compete against other programs, but to offer free antivirus to most of the people who don’t have an up-to-date program, either because it's hard for them to pay for it or because they don’t want to pay."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 30, 2009
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