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Windows 8 Will Include Free Windows Defender Antivirus Software

Windows 8 Bitdefender Security Software

No need to install an antivirus program, because Microsoft does it for you. Windows Defender will be a built-in feature

Microsoft has announced that it is to include the Windows Defender antivirus software in the Security Essentials package

When you’re installing a new version of Windows, or building a new PC like I did recently, one of the first things you’ll do is install a new antivirus program. That’s changing in Windows 8: Microsoft is including the Windows Defender antivirus program, as part of the Security Essential package, for free.

Microsoft said the software will only be used when another solution isn’t installed by default. Before Windows 8, users would have to download a program – even something made by Microsoft, such as Microsoft Security Essentials. The package has long been anticipated before the Windows 8 Release Preview arrived on May 31. Security Essentials is actually very solid, so it makes sense for there to be a bigger awareness of the package.

Windows 8 will also disable Security Essentials when a third-party alternative is installed, McAfee director of global consumer product marketing – Gary Davis – said Microsoft is allowing third-party developers to continue offering products in Windows 8. It also means more casual users won’t not download an antivirus program, and run the risk of being infected.

So Long, Bloatware

Interestingly David also said Microsoft introduced the feature after being pressured from PC manufacturers. Manufacturers have strong relationships with antivirus providers. Users will be notified of the change before Windows Security Essentials is installed, and the software will hide until it notices users aren’t going to install a third-party solution.

Hopefully it means that third-party antivirus programs won’t be so frequently bundled into PCs, which we commonly call bloatware. Most users will go and download AVG or their Norton Package they bought from PC World, so there’s no need for a bundle program. OEMs pay antivirus providers lots of money for the programs, though, so there’s every chance the relationships will continue as unfortunate as that sounds.

The Windows 8 Release Preview is available now to download, for free. It’s a more complete version of Windows 8 compared to the Consumer and Developer Previews, ahead of an expected October release. Feature wise the OS is largely the same, but apps can be downloaded from the Windows 8 Store.

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Published: Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 Last Modified: June 12, 2012

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