Free (and working) Anti-virus and Spyware blocker from the big MS

Microsoft has released a beta of its Windows Live Safety Center. According to the webpage it has the following functions

  • Check for and remove viruses
  • Learn about threats
  • Improve your PC's performance
  • Get rid of junk on your hard disk
The “Live” moniker means the application is installed online, which raises some issues right off the bat. If you were to choose this as your sole means of virus protection you would have to install your OS, connect to the Internet and then install your AV. This, would be a really piss poor approach since you will be on the Internet (at least for a little while) with no AV. Still, since it’s free it might be useful when your Mom asks you if she needs anti-virus or something.

I took it for a spin on one of my test rigs and I found installation was very easy (your Mom might not even need your help) and took just a couple of minutes. Then I decided it might be a good idea to see if to works or not, so I pointed my browser at some scumware tainted sites (mostly serial key type sites you know the ones). I even clicked yes when an “install me” popup came up and you know what Safety Center did stop me. Afterwards, I ran another spyware (ad-aware) checker and I was still clean.
I then shutdown all of my firewalls and left it sitting, on my broadband connection for about an hour, usually I would at least see one worm attack with in 10 mins doing this. After about an hour I was still clean.
So big, points to MS for making something that actually works at protecting your PC. However, this hardly makes up for making an OS that’s like Swiss cheese and needs 10 different applications just to keep it somewhat safe. I hope that they continue improving this beta and slipstream it into future operating systems. Moreover, damn them if the decide to charge for it, which would be to low even for them.

Please keep in mind, these are very limited tests, I am by no means giving this a rubber stamp. I will keep using it on the test box and see what happens. In addition, I am sniffing packets for unusual traffic (like a worm that is Security Center may have missed) I will update if anything changes.

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6:31 AM

I know what your favorite phrase of the week is...!!

/sing-song voice

Excellent post!!! I see you have it, Mr. Technologist. Maybe you and I could meet up one of these days...    

8:07 PM

I have one word to say...

I guess Microsoft thought it about time to make a new AV to replace MSAV for DOS.    

12:12 AM

I've ben hearing rumors that it is going to be a subscription based service when the final version comes out, I have also heard rumors it might be implmented into Windows Vista. I guess we just got to wait and find out what the guys in redmond are going to do. I have been using one care for awhile now and I have to say I am pretty happy with it. Honestly give it a try you really dont have anything to lose, and if your skepticial, run it on a test rig.    

12:35 AM

I was under the impression that it will be a subscription service as well, but MS has been making a lot of drastic changes lately, so you never know. I am pretty sure that it will not be slimstriped with Vista, as the Vista team has just suffered another major reset and is cutting even more features, but don't quote me on this. Perhaps the basic service will be free, but live-support will be subscription based.

Just my 2 cents.    

8:10 AM

IT's cool that microsoft is finally releasing something that we can test. It would be awesome if they included it into windows, but you know how third party companies would cry and moan about it. I mean it's already proved that these other companies that offer the same type of product just take microsoft to court saying they're cornering the market blah blah blah and not giving anyone else a chance to compete by including there own software automtically. Sun Systems proved this, REAL systems got mad when they included a player that supported Real Media, Symantac and Macaffi would have a SHIT FIT, if microsoft included a anti virus software automatically    

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