Micrsoft will launch its free antivirus software on Tuesday, US time, a source close to the company has revealed.
Microsoft Security Essentials will protect against viruses, spyware, rootkits and trojans and can be downloaded to computers running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 operating systems.
Windows business group manager Ben Green says the software alone will not protect against all web threats, but when used with a secure web browser such as Internet Explorer 8 and a fully updated Windows operating system will provide a total security solution.
People also need to be aware of threats and act sensibly. "It doesn't protect against user behaviour."
Vendors of paid anti-malware software are dismissive. McAfee spokeswoman Melanie Cole says Microsoft's software "will compete against other free solutions by offering limited security functionality".
Symantec spokeswoman Natalie Connor says it is a "thin defence" and does not offer antispam and identity safeguards.
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