The Windows Defender offline beta was made available by Microsoft today. The tool is designed to protect Windows users from rootkits and other nasty bits of malicious code.

The beta is designed to be run from offline media, such as a CD, a flash drive, or even a DVD. This allows a computer to be rebooted using that media, and the bad code found and removed. It remains a fact that many users of Windows do not properly protect their computers, even with such tools as Microsoft Security Essentials being available for free.

The beta can be found here. According to Microsoft, here’s how you’ll use it:

  • Download Windows Defender Offline Beta and create a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive.
  • Restart your PC using the Windows Defender Offline Beta media.
  • Scan your PC for malicious and other potentially unwanted software.
  • Remove any malware that is found from your PC.

All you need is some form of media that has 250 open megabytes, and you are off to the races.

TNW likes the idea of Windows Defender, as any protection that is afforded to regular, normal users is ultimately good for the larger technology world, becuase it limits the number of computers that can be made component of large botnets, and so forth; healthy PCs are better than those that are sick for more than just their owner.

With Defender and Security Essentials, Microsoft has in effect offered the applications that any Windows user might need to be safe, but distributing the code is another issue altogether. Microsoft faces pressure from security companies such as McAfee to not grind their market into the ground with free products. Microsoft appears to be moving in that direction, if slowly.