For as long as I can remember, I’ve been using AVG Free Edition for virus protection on my home PCs and as a recommendation for friends and family. Just today I learned about Microsoft Security Essentials. This is apparently old news, though, as the product was initially launched in 2009. At the time, it was regarded to be quite poor, but it has become better with time.
It sounds like this is now a legitimate option for free anti-virus protection for Windows XP, Vista, and 7. The anti-virus capability of Microsoft Security Essentials has also been baked into Windows Defender for Windows 8. However, while Microsoft’s anti-virus solution has improved to a respectable level over the years, an article at PC World suggests that AVG is still the best option for free protection. I may consider Windows Defender for friends and family as they go to Windows 8 since it will likely be easier for them to setup and maintain, but I’m sticking with AVG for my PCs.