image What do you too when your competitor offers better products at cheaper (FREE) rates? You turn Apple and throw dirt over them. That’s at least what Symantec tried to do with a recent video claiming Free isn’t Free – which is aiming at the recently popular Beta antivirus by Microsoft. Yes that’s right it hasn’t even been released to the public yet.

Before I actually debate on how Symantec is misleading the public, lets just see the video, and all the concerns raised by Symantec on the effectiveness of Security Essentials.

I won’t actually comment on the non technical arguments here like the wedding or kids being expensive although that’s not true either. Instead we’ll focus on the features which Microsoft Security Essentials apparently lacks.

To start things off, I’m sure most of you would know that Security Essentials is a free antivirus solution by Microsoft aimed at home users who are running Microsoft Windows. It is still under limited beta, though the final version is coming in a few weeks.

According to Symantec, Security Essentials isn’t good because it doesn’t scan websites, or phishing scams etc. But I’m kinda surprised here because the only thing I understand from all this is that the folks over at Symantec use obsolete web browsers which have no phishing or spam filters otherwise they’d know that all modern browsers can detect and block such websites.

As for the claims of not having a Firewall to block of hackers and intrusions etc, Windows has been packing a pretty good Firewall for about 9 years now. I guess Symantec still runs something like Windows 98, otherwise they would have known that. And almost all the home users use webmail services like Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail – which already have server side scanners for attachments. And all the IM’s scan the shared files before opening them.

MSE-UsageThe final two “deficiencies” were lack of recovery software and no support. Symantec again landed flat on their head because Windows has had Recovery features for 10 years now (System Restore, Windows Backup) and they were just reemphasized with Windows 7. And Security Essentials also offers support. Just click the Help icon and go to the support website. On a side note, Norton’s support isn’t free either even if you pay for their products, you’d have to pay extra for support. I’ve tried it.

I’ve conclude by saying that Security Essentials is a light but powerful antivirus meant to be used in conjunction with other features built into Windows – a winning combination, which is evident from the usage statistics, even when the product hasn’t been released to the public yet.