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Microsoft's free security beta fills up

A day after its launch, Microsoft Security Essentials is no longer available from the company's site. The beta had been limited to 75,000 participants.

A day after making a beta of its free security program available, Microsoft has said it already has the number of testers it needs and has halted new downloads. CNET

Well, that didn't take long.

A day after making available a free beta of its Microsoft Security Essentials software, Microsoft has stopped offering new downloads, saying it has reached the number of participants it was looking for, at least here in the U.S. The software maker had said it was only looking to initially have about 75,000 downloads of the product, formerly code-named Morro.

"Thank you for your interest in joining the Microsoft Security Essentials Beta. We are not accepting additional participants at this time," Microsoft said in a posting on its Web site. "Please check back at later a date for possible additional availability."

Microsoft Security Essentials is the free product that Microsoft promised it would create last year, at the same time the software maker said it was discontinuing its paid Windows Live OneCare product.

The program hits the antivirus basics, including built-in and customizable scan options, a scheduler, automatic definition file updates, a real-time defense shield, and rootkit protection. It's also similar to other free products on the market, such as those from AVG and Antivir.'s Seth Rosenblatt contributed to this report.

Click on the image above to see's look at Microsoft Security Essentials. CNET