According to the latest reports, Microsoft Security Essentials is the most popular anti-virus application worldwide. Microsoft’s solution, which is free to all genuine Windows users, has taken the top spot in the second quarter of 2011, as reported by OPSWAT’s study (via Softpedia).
Microsoft Security Essentials was found running on 10.66% of the 43,000 computers that were tested by OPSWAT worldwide. This beats the second place getter by a small margin, which was Avira Antivir Personal with a 10.18% share; AVAST! Free Antivirus came third with 8.66%.
However, when looking at worldwide vendor market share, Microsoft comes in fourth with 11.24%, getting beaten by Avira (12.29%), AVAST Software (12.37%) and AVG Technologies (also 12.37%). This difference is due to other anti-virus distributors having more than one AV product available, allowing their multiple products to combine to achieve the highest vendor market share. It is still great to see Microsoft so high on this list despite having only one major security offering.
OPSWAT noted in their study that the market share gain of MSE “could be attributed to the distribution advantage that Microsoft Security Essentials holds due to the convenient installation through Windows Update and its smooth integration with the popular IE browser.” It is also no doubt due to the fact that Microsoft Security Essentials is a free anti-virus solution, and while other free solutions do take the top spots, it certainly helps in the rankings.
Microsoft Security Essentials is currently at version 2.0, and has been available as a basic/entry-level anti-virus software since its launch in 2009. Since the launch, Microsoft stated that it has passed the 30 million download mark in late 2010.