Microsoft Security Essentials Under Microscope
A look at Microsoft Security Essentials, the free anti-virus application from Microsoft. Is Microsoft Security Essentials any good? Will it protect a Windows PC from most common threats? Can MSE compete with commercial security applications?
Over the next few months we will see.
Annoyed with Commercial AV Software.
I have become increasingly annoyed with commercial anti-virus applications. They have become overpriced, use too much system resources, interfere with other applications, or slow down internet access. Worse still, none of the apps are able to detect every virus or malware… An example is Trojan Generic 24, which seems to be only detected by AVG (but doesn’t stop or remove it). Trend Micro Titanium and Norton AV don’t find all versions of this dangerous trojan.
Finally the time has arrived to upgrade my main workstation. I should rather say ‘forced to upgrade’ Friday last week my trusty old Windows box decided it had given 25 000 hours of reliable service and wanted to retire. Of course this was on start-up in the morning. I knew I should have finished the quotation I had been working on the night before, but wanted to ‘sleep on it’ before finishing off.
A New System
I was tempted, really tempted, to go the dual XEON processor on a top range motherboard (server board) route, but common sense (and my bank account) prevailed. For the same reason that Mac Pro I’ve been eyeing for months had to take a back seat.
Several days spent researching various products; Intel or Gigabyte motherboard, graphics cards, operating systems and so on. Decision made, I can live with a Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3 motherboard. Specifications are good enough, will accept 24GB RAM in 6 slots (and I have respect for products from this stable). The CPU – no contest! Intel’s i7 3.4GHz processor (as I mentioned, 2 Xeons are just too expensive…)
Graphics cards – well anything with 1GB memory will do – as long as it has connectors for two displays. The only games likely to be installed are MS Flight Sim, Half Life 2 and MYST… And those run fine on an old nVidia 6800 card. (And seldom get used anyway… I’ve had Half Life 2 since it came out – still only on the 2nd level… My cousin blasted thorough 5 levels in an afternoon the first time he played it!
Open Source Becoming Mainstream
“Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process” (Open Source Initiative)
Considering a poll being conducted on eWEEKeurope open source software is gaining penetration with business users.
47% of respondents significantly favour open source applications, and a further 15% are trying it out.
Slightly more tha 63% of responders make use of OpenSource to some extent.
A further 8% state they might use it but are locked into propretory software.
Only 13% said they they do not trust it.
Refering to a Softpedia article, Linux makes up 40.6% of the operating systems in use, while Microsoft Windows still holds a narrowing lead of 57.5%
Open Source in South African Public Sector
As far back as 2003 open source software started gaining support at official levels in South Africa. In 2003 the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Indsustrial Research) Launched an project to assist in the development of open source in the region (SouthAfrica.info).
A number of Government departments today rely on opensource, including The Northern Cape Provincial Government, Department of Land Affairs, and SA Revenue Services (Linux and Oracle). Education also makes extensive use of open source applications for in-school computer learning programs.
Facebook and Twitter Opensource.
I wonder how many of the approximate 800 million Facebook users realise the worlds most used social media network is based on open source technology.
Then there are the more than 600 million users of Twitter, another major open source appplication. How many of the 13% who ‘do not trust’ open source are regular tweeters, and spend hours every week on Facebook?