If you're interested in testing the next version of Microsoft Security Essentials, head over to the Microsoft Connect site. The location of the signup site leaked yesterday, when Microsoft began sending email invitations to previous beta testers who had tested Microsoft Security Essentials version 2, which shipped last December.
By signing in with your Live ID and venturing to the page, you should be added to the beta list. If you're interested, do it now, just in case Microsoft withdraws the offer.
The Web page itself won't tell you anything of interest, beyond "Thank you for participating in the Microsoft Security Essentials Beta program, which will start soon." But here's what the leaked email said:
Thank you so much for being a part of the Microsoft Security Essentials v2 Beta.
You have indicated that you are interested in receiving invites for Connect programs from Microsoft, so we would like to invite you to participate in the Microsoft Security Essentials Public Beta program on Microsoft Connect.
This program is for the newest Beta version of Microsoft Security Essentials which has the latest protection features. Be one of the select few who get access to this Beta release by signing up now to reserve your spot!
It's likely that the new beta will be for a major new release of Microsoft Security Essentials (version 3?), and that the new version will run on Windows 8 -- although both predictions are just conjectures at this point. Microsoft hasn't said a word about what's coming.
Oddly, Microsoft Knowledge Base article 2461287 was updated a few weeks ago to say, "If you are running an older version of the Microsoft Security Essentials Beta, we encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of the beta. ... The Microsoft Security Essentials team has made improvements to the quality of the product including performance enhancements as well as some user interface modifications. In particular, the team decided to remove the protection against web threats feature in the Security Essentials Beta as it was causing PC performance issues."
If you're still running a beta version of MSE v2, check out that Knowledge Base article and get yourself updated.
This story, "Leaked email reveals Microsoft Security Essentials beta program," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.