Microsoft releases free antivirus software

Microsoft’s free antivirus program, Security Essentials, became available for download from the company’s website Tuesday.

Microsoft bills the software as providing “high-quality protection” against viruses, Trojan horses, worms, spyware and other malicious software. It updates and upgrades automatically.

Microsoft said its free program is not meant to cut into the business of commercial antivirus programs, by companies such as McAfee and Symantec, but will appeal to people who don’t already have security software on their computers.

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