For years Microsoft was wary of entering the world of anti-virus technology, but now the software giant has made a significant foray into the market, following the launch of its new Israeli-designed anti-malware service. Microsoft has announced that its new flagship anti-virus program is now available for immediate download to its registered private customers. The software giant's latest offering, called Security Essentials, was developed at Microsoft Israel's R&D offices in Herzliya-Pituach. Security Essentials has been made available for free and is set to supersede the software giant's current anti-virus product, Windows Live OneCare, which sets users back $44.95 a year. Independent tests of Security Essentials have shown it to be a well designed program, and has also gained plaudits from beta testers who lauded its usability and relatively light footprint on a computer's memory and processing power.