Microsoft free AV to be called Security Essentials

Free anti-virus could be available as early as September

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Microsoft's freebie anti-virus app has lost its Morro codename in favour of the yawn-inducing (but presumably more reliable-sounding) moniker Security Essentials.

Insiders at neowin broke the news earlier today, with a brace of screenshots that look very similar to yesterday's screenshots but with a sober blue background.

NeoWin says that this latest build of the no-cost AV software, which will be available for Windows XP, Vista (32- and 64-bit) and 7 systems, has been in testing for two weeks.

Defender defeated

Microsoft Security Essentials completely replaces Windows' built-in Defender and offers protection against viruses, spyware, trojans and rootkits.

However, it will continue to use the wonderfully named Microsoft SpyNet, the Defender user community that helps to classify, track and protect against the ever-shifting threat from spyware.

NeoWin expects Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 to be available to the general public in September, although Microsoft is sticking with its stated '2009' release date for now.

Via NeoWin