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THE CREATOR of PC operating systems that are insecure by design, Microsoft has updated its free security suite for Windows.Five months after the public beta, Microsoft announced the release of Security Essentials 2. It sports a new malware detection engine and closer integration with Windows Firewall and Internet Explorer, with the Vole also touting performance improvements.Security Essentials 2 supports machines running Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista and Windows 7, though not all features are enabled on Windows XP. In fairness to Microsoft, the omission of the network inspection system isn't a cheap trick enticing users to upgrade, but rather a requirement of the Windows Filtering Platform, a piece of software that is only available for Windows Vista and Windows 7.Microsoft is pitching Security Essentials 2 at consumers and small businesses with up to 10 machines. For larger outfits, the Vole has updated its Forefront Endpoint Protection security software, which includes real-time server monitoring.Unlike its operating systems, subsystems and client access licences, Microsoft decided to give away Security Essentials for free to individuals and small businesses, although medium-sized and larger businesses that want Forefront will have to fork over cash.Or they can move over to Linux, where most software including a lot of security software is free, and they can choose whether or not they want to pay for support.
At least it's free. Now to find out if it's any good.