eWeek is reporting that Microsoft's forthcoming free Security Essentials anti-virus solution is "unexceptional in the best sense of the word," adding that the software works but won't blow your mind, that it raises the security bar albeit the lowest rung on the ladder.
The opinion is based on the recently released Security Essentials beta, and after a couple of days testing, the author of the eWeek article was struggling to find something interesting to say about the software.
However, eWeek manages to bring up two interesting points: the price of the software (free), and the fact that Security Essentials scored (surprisingly) well on early wild list tests, finding everything that was thrown at it, an achievement rarely made when testing retail solutions. It might even make the list of the best antivirus software.
While Security Essentials doesn't appear to compete with the top contenders in the anti-malware market, the software does manage to elevate the absolute minimum level of security using old-school signature-based detection.
"I have my doubts that Microsoft will ever pull the trigger and include Security Essentials in a base OS or a service pack update for fear of the backlash," said Andrew Garcia. "But I certainly see the product appearing in Microsoft Update as an option once it is a little more battle-tested, then eventually morphing into a critical update within a year or so of release. Of course, all of this depends on Microsoft making a concerted effort to ensure its solution plays nicely with others."
Garcia also added that, with some modifications, Security Essentials could be a win for third-party security companies, allowing them to focus on next-generation technology with minimal worries concerning compatibility with Microsoft's scanner.