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photobucketPanda has been working on Cloud Antivirus for nearly three years, and it's now available to the public in beta form.

The application aims to leverage the power of the cloud to better and more quickly detect and analyze new threats as they appear - which can be done in as little as six minutes, according to Panda. Called "Collective Intelligence," Panda's system utilizes anonymous data from users running the application and processes about 50,000 new threats each day.

In exchange for your participartion in Cloud, you're given totally free virus protection for your personal computer (sorry, no commercial use). That's a pretty good deal for a tool that is able to provide near-realtime detection and analysis. Temporarily off the 'net? No problem. Cloud maintains a local cache to keep you protected when you're apart from the Collective, Locutus.

The new program reportedly takes up around 50 MB on the hard drive and eats around 17 MB of RAM when in use. That compares well against the industry average that Panda provided of 60 MB, and Bustamante said that they're aiming for 12 MB of RAM when in use.

Panda Cloud Antivirus is for Windows XP and Windows Vista, with planned support for Windows 7 when it's released. Bustamante added that it will stay in beta as it's being accepted by users, although they hope it will leave beta by the end of this summer.

[via cnet.com]