Bimal writes "After a short three-month beta program, Microsoft is officially releasing Microsoft Security Essentials, its free, real-time consumer anti-malware solution for fighting viruses, spyware, rootkits, and Trojans. MSE is available for Windows XP 32-bit, Windows Vista/7 32-bit, and Windows Vista/7 64-bit. 'Ars puts MSE through its paces and finds an unobtrusive app with a clean interface that protected us in the dark corners of the Internet.' The software received positive notes when in beta, including a nod from the independent testing group AV-Test." But reader CWmike notes that Symantec is trash-talking Microsoft's free offering. Jens Meggers, Symantec's vice president of engineering, dismissed MSE as a "poor product" that will "never be up to snuff." Meggers added, "Microsoft has a really bad track record in security." The GM of Trend Micro's consumer division sniffed, "It's better to use something than to use nothing, but you get what you pay for."