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Free Microsoft antivirus extended to small businesses

Free Microsoft antivirus extended to small businesses

Microsoft will give small businesses free access to the suite of security tools it adds to Security Essentials, the company reveals on the Windows Security blog. The novelty takes effect from next month – also for Portugal – and will allow the connection of a maximum of 10 computers to the solution, which the company already makes available free of charge to private users.

Access to the suite, which last year replaced and completed the offer ensured through One Care, will now be governed by a different licensing system that allows companies using the solution to do so free of charge.

Security Essencials is developed using the same technology used by Microsoft in its enterprise software. Generally speaking, the product has been well evaluated in tests carried out by independent entities, although usability obtains significantly more positive results than the ability to protect the PC and repair errors, as shown by data from AV-Test.org, cited by PC World.

Security Essentials was launched in September last year. In the first week of launch, the product was downloaded 1.5 million times. Months later, in February of this year, the SE was getting a localized version for Portuguese.

Yesterday the solution marked a year of existence and the manufacturer revealed that it is already being used by 30 million users in 74 countries.

Even recently, a Microsoft official confessed on the Windows security blog that the company is aware of the lack of protection in many private and business PCs, due to decision or simple financial incapacity.

The fact that the SE is free of charge for private individuals will probably result in many micro companies already taking advantage of the product, without identifying themselves in that way. What they could not do until now was a registration in these conditions, assuming the connection of several PCs.

Microsoft also announced today that as of tonight, the 2011 version of its Live Essentials will be available, which offers a set of free tools.

Editorial Note: The news has been updated to add information on the availability of a new version of Live Essentials, meanwhile released by Microsoft. The news was updated again [04-10-2010] with information on the availability in Portugal of the MSE for companies.