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Microsoft quietly releases Safety Scanner for Windows

Microsoft may have won the praise of its users when it launched its lightweight antivirus security tool known as Security Essentials some time back, but it appears that the Redmond giant has got another security-related tool up its sleeves for the consumers. However, unlike Security Essentials, Microsoft's new security software is targeted more towards consumers who do not wish to commit themselves to installing an antivirus software that runs permanently in the background of their computer but still want a means of being able to scan and remove malware on their PCs. 

Everybody knows that an antivirus tool is one of the 'must-have' programs for any PC running on Microsoft's Windows operating system, and for good reason. After all, the mere idea of having an added line of defence against the swarm of malware that are mostly targeted against Microsoft's venerable operating system should be all the motivation one needs to understand just how important a role an antivirus program plays in securing one's PC.

However, it cannot be denied that some consumers see the act of installing and maintaining an antivirus program to be a hassle that does not justify the added security benefits, and may therefore choose to avoid having one altogether. Fortunately, it appears that such users can now benefit from a minimal level of protection from most existing malware, thanks to Microsoft's recently launched Safety Scanner tool for Windows.

The idea behind Microsoft Safety Scanner is simple, and yet practical at the same time. Designed to serve as an on-demand tool for scanning and removing malware on PCs, Safety Scanner is offered as a small but self-contained 70+MB executable file that can be used as a substitute for some of the functionality of a regular antivirus scanner, such as scanning and disinfecting.

However, the ability to serve as a substitute for certain specific features found in most conventional antivirus scanners does not make Safety Scanner a full-fledged, drop-in replacement for proper anti-malware programs, a fact which Microsoft is particularly keen on emphasizing. In fact, Microsoft had even gone as far as to time-bomb every copy of Safety Scanner for expiry after 10 days, after which the tool has to be re-downloaded in order to enjoy the on-demand scanning and disinfecting services it provides.

That being said, it cannot be denied that the standalone nature of Microsoft Safety Scanner makes it ideal as a highly portable tool for clearing out a PC from unwelcome viruses and malware.  Those wishing to give Safety Scanner a little spin on their home PCs can download the tool from its product page at http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-gb/default.aspx

Source: ZDNet


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