A sneaky inside source in the Microsoft world pointed me to uhm... well, already public information about Microsoft Security Essentials, which will be available to the public tomorrow, free of charge. MSE is Microsoft's integrated anti-malware, anti-virus solution, which I'm sure that McAfee, Symantec and friends are going to be happy with.
The original version was open to only 75,000 users, but if you knew where to look *cough*softpedia*cough* you could still find the download from the Microsoft site. Now they have announced that it is available now. No fees, no registration, no renewals, no nothing. OMFG, have they done this right? One might argue they should have done it sooner, shouldn't have done it at all, should just fixtheirdamnOSdammit, and the like, but a couple of people that I respect greatly in the security space (including Steve Gibson of the Security Now! podcast have given it a thumbs up (and if you know how paranoid Steve Gibson is, who just recently upgraded from Windows 2000 to XP... though that might take away some credibility :) ) that's quite the endorsement).
I've got this installed on my new Windows 7 install instead of AVG for the first time in years, and so far I can say it hasn't gotten in the way, has warned me of a couple of infected keyge... uhmm... files, and hasn't appeared to suck up too many system resources. I'm giving it a cautious "works for me" so far.
Anyway, Microsoft Security Essentials is out, free, and available for download now. Guess the next step is to wait for the reviews to come out and see what the other experts think of it.