The new Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus program was developed at the Microsoft Israel R&D center.

Last week, Microsoft Corporation announced that it will allow free downloads of the Security Essentials program for its registered private customers.

The beta version of the program has been available for several months. Owners of legal versions of Microsoft Windows can download Microsoft Security Essentials without registering. The program also works on thin hardware such as Netboxes.

Development of the program began in December 2008 at the R&D center north of Tel Aviv in Herzliya Pituach.

Microsoft Israel product team leader Shai Kariv told Israel’s leading financial news service Globes [online]: “We’ve added new options for private users with our antivirus. The product uses the latest antivirus technologies. It’s easy to use, download and maintain, and it’s free. There’s no need to register anywhere, and there’s no advertising on it.”