Morro Launch Day!
Without a hint of a sense of irony, Redmond today acknowledged the leaking (on a New Zealand website) of the Microsoft Security Essentials launch, by bringing forward an announcement originally planned for 5pm BST.
That's a free download incorporating anti-virus, among other things such as protection from spyware and malware, but in a basic form that's unlikely to threaten the big players - including their own Forefront Client Security paid-for business offering.
Microsoft has said that it wants to provide a free security offering for all consumers. The Forefront team blog describes the relationship between Forefront and Security Essentials here. Initially, the new software will be available in eight languages and 19 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States (the originally planned list included ten languages and 20 countries; the missing one is China). Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 are supported in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. There is no support for "legacy" operating systems, like Windows 98 or Windows 2000.
The limited beta had been running in the U.S., Israel and Portugal, since June 23, when it dovetailed into the June 30 discontinuation of retail sales for the Windows Live OneCare subscription service.