Microsoft Security Essentials (or ‘Morro’ as it has been know until today), the new free anti-virus offering by Microsoft, seems to be using the same engine and definitions as those provided by Microsoft’s business client security offering, Microsoft Forefront Client Security.
The comparison of screenshots speaks for itself:
(Screenshot from Ars Technica)
Apart from the Client version, which has been augmented to 2.0.xxxx for Morro – to be in par with the next version of Forefront Client Security 2.0 that will be part of the Stirling platform, all other definition versions are the same. Notably, Microsoft provides multiple updates of its definitions daily through Microsoft Update.
Microsoft provides the option to enterprises who have licensed Forefront Client Security in a per-user licensing model to provide the Client Security agent to employees at no additional cost for protecting home computers.
By releasing Morro by the end of 2009, Microsoft will further extend the coverage of their anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware offering to home users as well.