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  1. #1
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    Microsoft Security Essentials on Win XP

    Hi there,
    I enjoyed reading Woody's series 'Don't pay for software you don't need' but I noticed that this was based purely on Win7. I can see that I can get MSE for Win XP as well. Is there any difference in the quality of MSE between these two OS or is it safe to assume when he recommends MSE for Win7 this would also go for Win XP ? What I am wondering is that Win7 is probably more secure in itself than Win XP, and if that is a prerequisite for the evaluation of MSE, that MSE for Win XP is not as good as MSE for Win7. Btw upgrading to Win7 is not an option - the PC's are too old to spend more money on but good enough for some uses (small office). I used to have SAVCE, but do not want to renew. I hope I explained this right, even though I am not a native english speaking person.
    Regards,
    Per

  2. #2
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    Hello Per, welcome to The Lounge: congratulations, your English is just fine!

    To my knowledge, there is no reduction in capability of MSE running on XP compared to running it on Windows 7.

    Windows 7 is more secure than XP, but you have no choice, so it is a good solution.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by peho View Post
    What I am wondering is that Win7 is probably more secure in itself than Win XP, and if that is a prerequisite for the evaluation of MSE, that MSE for Win XP is not as good as MSE for Win7. Btw upgrading to Win7 is not an option - the PC's are too old to spend more money on but good enough for some uses (small office)
    It is true that each new version of Windows is more secure, due both to internal design and upgrades to various components such as the Windows firewall and IE. So if you look at MSE as providing antivirus and antispyware protection, that part is the same on both XP and 7, but the other parts are not quite as strong. Whether a third party products gives you better overall protection probably depends on the specific details of that third party product, so it's difficult to compare in the abstract.

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    Hi guys,
    Thanks for your replies Tinto Tech and jscher2000 and for welcoming me on this forum.
    I think my options are limited if I do not wanted to pay for it, since not many - if any - antivirus developers allow the use of their products for businesses. As kind of a startup business (2nd time though but with very limited funds right now) I have to opt for the free versions. I still have a physical firewall box, so from your replies this seems adequate. I only need MSE for antivirus and antispyware protection. As for the communication between MSE and Win XP I think what you are saying would apply to any 3rd party antivirus as well.
    My next PC is gonna be with Win7 and probably with MSE as recommended by woody, even though I must say I have been very happy with SAVCE in the past.
    Please let me know if my reasoning is wrong.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Note that for business use Microsoft allows MSE to be run on up to 10 PCs. Here's one article (of many available) about this.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    Note that for business use Microsoft allows MSE to be run on up to 10 PCs. Here's one article (of many available) about this.
    What !!!!!
    How can Microsoft put these limits on software that they are pushing to their users as part of the updates - and we are talking the Pro version of Windows XP. It comes as a big surprise to me. I know - I should have read the license agreements, and I sometimes do - in that respect I think I do more than most. Any other places where similar rules apply within Windows XP Pro plus updates ?

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    I think you misunderstand.

    MSE is not pushed to your machine automatically - it is not a Windows Update. You have to install it yourself by visiting the download site.

    After it is installed, it will receive definitions updates automatically via Windows Updates.

    When you install, you are accepting the licence terms one of which is that you are allowed to use the software on up to 10 PC's in a commercial environment for free. This is a very generous licence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinto Tech View Post
    I think you misunderstand.

    MSE is not pushed to your machine automatically - it is not a Windows Update. You have to install it yourself by visiting the download site.

    After it is installed, it will receive definitions updates automatically via Windows Updates.

    When you install, you are accepting the licence terms one of which is that you are allowed to use the software on up to 10 PC's in a commercial environment for free. This is a very generous licence.
    I think there is more to it than that. I have just reinstalled one of my PCs from Toshiba (4 tears old tablet with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005). After reinstalling from the supplied CDs from Toshiba, I immediately uninstalled Norton antivirus (can't remember which version). I then started to update Windows XP and activated Microsoft Update. After everything was updated I installed the Adobe free software (reader+2 players), and thats where I am now. Checking installed programs I find MSE. This can come from 3 places only 1) Toshiba (not likely on PC from early 2007 and on a PC that comes with Norton products installed I guess) 2) Microsoft Update or 3) Adobe (never heard of that). I vote for Microsoft Update, but do not know how to check this, so I still believe this has been pushed to my PC from Microsoft.

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    I just checked Microsoft Update, and MSE came somewhere between Live Essentials and Silverlight. You are still right that the offer is fine, and that it would probably be shown in a license agreements that you should read like the one for Silverlight. That, however, does not change my opinion that it is wrong to push this technology to users/support personnel when this could potentially result in a breach of the license agreement. Much better would be to send the user to a web page showing the limitations.

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    Well, it's difficult to diagnose what you are seeing without extra detail.

    Silverlight and Live Essentials are also not pushed automatically, they are offered as optional. If your MSE was installed between them, it may also have been offered as optional. But, and this is important, I have never seen it offered in that way. Perhaps the version of MSE that was offered to you was the earlier version that is linked closely with Windows Defender - that may also tie in with the age of the Toshiba.

    In summary, the current version (with the 10 business licence restriction) of Microsoft Security Essentials is not installed automatically unless bundled with an OEM install, nor is it installed automatically via Windows Update.

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    For what it's worth, my experience with Microsoft Update is that MSE is offered to you if your computer doesn't already have an anti-virus program of some kind installed. I believe that to be normal since I've seen it occur on several computers.

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    Well, based on what Peho noted, I've been digging deeper to try to understand what he may be seeing. Among several others, I found this blog entry.

    As can be seen, MSE is offered and an optional update via Windows Updates.

    Therefore, you have my apologies: I stand corrected.

    However, as can be seen in the screen shot on that blog, it is an optional rather than automatic install and clearly states in the explanation to the right of the KB entry that it is limited to 10 PC's in a business environment.

    It's not clear what triggers the offering, but as RockE notes, perhaps it's offered if the target PC has no antivirus solution already installed. If that's the case, it would explain why I have never seen it offered in this manner.

    In any business system, it's essential to make sure one understands the context, risks, requirements and limitations of any updates that are offered and applied. The business is at risk if one does not apply due diligence, and noting the 10 PC limitation on MSE is one of these cases.

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    Thanks, Tinto Tech and RockE.
    I think you are both right. I did uninstall Norton Antivirus and did update Windows XP before deciding which antivirus to install hence my question here. Behind my firewall (ZyWall) I do not think there's any real risk.
    Tinto Tech - I don't hope you are expecting people to go through these 200+ updates (I think that number is correct) even for a business. I did pay special attention to Silverlight and to Live Essentials in the past but I did not notice any warnings regarding MSE, nor - and that is probably most important - did I expect that anything offered via Windows (or Microsoft) Update would have any restrictions in use except what the original product (Windows XP) had. After all, in my view, Windows XP Pro was offered as the business product while Windows XP Home was offered for home users, so I wouldn't expect any business use restrictions, other than the standard terms regarding reverse engineering, changing code etc.
    A final note - I do not yet have 10 PC's using MSE, so for now it doesn't matter - I'm just a little shocked by the implications for other businesses.

  14. #14
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    Hi Peho,

    Sadly, I have to concede that I rarely expect residential customers to review every update - it's hard enough sometimes getting any updates on a residential system.

    However, for business use, I'm afraid my answer is a very painful "yes" - I would expect the person responsible for IT systems in a buinsess to check the impact of each patch and update before implementation. Failure to do so could break business critical applications.

    In a comercial environment, even a small one, it's worth trying to get to a point where you have a standard set of patches that are allowed to be installed, so you don't have to check each time - or perhaps the reverse: a list of patches that should not be installed until a later time.

    In a small business, consider running a Small Business Server implementation which is a step up from managing standalone desktops. It has many benefits including centralization and control of updates. However, I think you said yours is a start-up business, so a client-server based network is probably not in your plans right now. In medium to larger organisations deployments are automated from images, but then there are additonal resources compared to a stat-up.

    It is difficult to find the right balance.

    Good luck with your new business, and thanks for raising the potential problem of the automatic MSE offering in these circumstances - something I was unaware of before.

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