Is Microsoft Security Essentials for Business?

Posted on in IT Management

Considering the economy and the crunch that many IT departments are feeling, it is no surprise that many small to medium businesses are curious about using Microsoft's free security product as a replacement to the enterprise security solutions they have been using. Individual businesses will have to decide if Microsoft Security Essentials includes the features they need. Both ZDNet and have talked about the pros and cons of using MSE in the enterprise.


Personally, I'm a bit more curious about whether the Microsoft Security Essentials license agreement (EULA) allows the product to be used in businesses. Microsoft's advertising of the product is definitely aimed at home users. The main product site includes a link to Microsoft Forefront for curious business users. According to the EULA:

Use. You may install and use any number of copies of the software on your devices in your household for use by people who reside there or for use in your home-based small business.

As you can see, the EULA specifically states that the software can be used by home users and home-based businesses. I may be mistaken, but I believe in a document like this, any use not specifically outlined is reserved. That would mean that Microsoft has the right to prohibit use by business users in the future.

The best course of action if you are considering using Microsoft Security Essentials in your small or medium-sized business is to contact Microsoft and ask for clarification. If you hear back from them, please post a comment here and let us know what you learned.

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