Microsoft Security Essentials is most used anti-virus

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.

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More proof the average user is a moron. MSE is the pits. Simple principle of economics that no one can quite comprehend - There is no such thing as a free lunch. You always pay somewhere - whether it be the antivirus itself or in the cleanup because you opted to use the free crap that did nothing.

LOL certain sites rated/currently rate Norton and Kaspersky as the best AV out there .. Avast is highly rated, and at the same time NOD32 and MSE being rated the lowest ... in my 7 years of experience with Windows, i've faced gazillion problems with the 'best' rated av's and enjoyed/currently enjoying the best 'tension-free' time with the so called 'worst' rated av's .. i trust my own usage .. not some rating done by some standards which hardly reflect a daily users os usage.

Anyone who say MS forces you to use it. You must be those people who click without reading. Besides this is the best free antivirus out there currently. Not once did it ever ask you to buy a pro version to get a certain feature. Besides I'm a student. Pay for an antivirus is not an option for the moment

No one here thinks it's ironic that Microsoft had to form a new team to write a AV application to protect the OS they can't seem secure from threats?

This is the case of the Fox guarding the hen house.

Just curious how much faith you would put into them if you were a major decision maker and if your ass was on the line, would you select the ISA Firewall to protect your corporate assets and all your people from threats?

Max Norris said,
Ahh another person under the assumption that every OS out there is secure except for Windows. How refreshing.

And the only person making any assumptions is you my friend. I didn't say anything about other OS's.

I find it hard to believe that AVAST Software lost around 4 points of market share since the last OPSWAT study... which would equate to losing around 5 million active users (currently at around 130 million)... which has not happened, at least from where I sit at AVAST HQ in Prague.

A user base can be counted in two main ways: number of registrations (people who have both downloaded AND registered the product), and number of active users (people who receive virus database updates at least 1x every few weeks).

AVAST lists both user counts here, updated automatically (daily, I think): http://www.avast.com/about#tab4

I'll stick to Kaspersky Internet Security which is by far a superior product to MSE, and free to all Barclays account holders.

I use MSE for several reasons.

* It's free
* Updated easily (click "update"... wait... done)
* And it's lightweight.
* No idiotic functions and/or settings.

AV Test provides a good report on many AV software programs and MSE is 'average' at what it does. Nor more no less. In this day-and-age I don't need an 'average' performer. I have Norton 360 free via Comcast and its amazing with a very small footprint.

Folks just remember, MSE is an ENTRY LEVEL, again an ENTRY LEVEL AV. However, for such an ENTRY LEVEL AV. The most important thing is that it can detect the threats , and it works for most people.

In addtion, you have to question how you surf the Internet because once you start going to shady sites, that is when you usually get all of the infections from malware and viruses.

RommelS said,
Folks just remember, MSE is an ENTRY LEVEL, again an ENTRY LEVEL AV.

Should have said "However, for such an ENTRY LEVEL AV, it does it job fairly well.

RommelS said,
Folks just remember, MSE is an ENTRY LEVEL, again an ENTRY LEVEL AV. However, for such an ENTRY LEVEL AV. The most important thing is that it can detect the threats , and it works for most people.

In addtion, you have to question how you surf the Internet because once you start going to shady sites, that is when you usually get all of the infections from malware and viruses.

Sentence Fragment is a sentence fragment...... <loop>

Works for me...

Of course only a fool would not run a second scanner once a fornight. I use Malwarebytes. For added security I run a hosts file.

And it is free from the makers of the OS as it should be since the malware problems are inherently theirs


MSE is part of my standard clean install routine nowadays. People can accuse it of being thrust on users all they want, but people say a lot of stupid things. The reality is simple: on Vista/7, MSE is one of the (if not the one and only) lightest AV solutions available to users. It installs cleanly, it runs cleanly, it doesn't pop up at you constantly, and it feels like it just plain belongs in the OS.

It's not the end-all-be-all malware solution, but as a foundation for system security, Microsoft has accomplished something great, and the only reason I can think of for people to hate on it is some weird, childish desire to hate on anything Microsoft does.

MSE had issues on a few computers I installed it on so I went to Avast which is still running great for me. But yes MSE is pretty much set in optional for windows updates if you don't have a AV installed which shouldn't be.

As a free "just consider it part of the OS" solution, MSE is great. But I'm just glad stupid Comcast offers Norton 360 5.0 for free, it's amazing as far as features (AND yes performance!) go.

Hello,

I think it is really important to take reports like this with a grain of salt. Or two. First off, the sample size of the report, according to the Softpedia article, was 43,000 computers. That may seem like a lot, but there are a lot of entities out there which have that many computers or more (think university systems, government agencies, enterprises and so forth). Also, you have to look at how the data was collected. It was collected by two tools (one used to uninstall antivirus software, the other an interoperability/diagnostic tool) so there could be some things unaccounted for, like antivirus usage in language those two tools don't support, antivirus software they don't recognize or environments in which neither tool is run (e.g., a locked down environment managed by native tools). I suspect, for example, that Symantec (ranked #6) and McAfee (ranked #8) actually have larger installed bases than ESET (ranked #5). If nothing else, they are certainly large companies.

While it is interesting to look at these reports and see how things change from quarter to quarter, I think it is also important to keep in mind they may not truly be representative of the industry as a whole.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

been running nod32 for almost 4 yrs now, no troubles, no viruses, nothing.

I've never used mse (well, i'm still an XP user ) but i would like to try it

I do use MSE.. but I have seen it get effortlessly defeated on more than one occasion... seems some virii or nasty pieces of malware are quite capable of simply stopping the MSE engine and deleting it from the services list rendering it useless.

Chicane-UK said,
I do use MSE.. but I have seen it get effortlessly defeated on more than one occasion... seems some virii or nasty pieces of malware are quite capable of simply stopping the MSE engine and deleting it from the services list rendering it useless.

'Virii' is not the plural of 'Virus'. Why would you say that? :-\

er0n said,

'Virii' is not the plural of 'Virus'. Why would you say that? :-\

Maybe because I thought it was the plural.. that's why I said it.

I'm very sorry for not knowing about every single world in the English language and I apologise for any offense caused. Not.

Yep, love MSE, have it on all my machines.
I never actually come across a virus in the wild either, the only times it's ever happened is with cracks/keys - and these days I actually would rather pay for software and avoid these issues. I remember scanning someone's laptop once, it came up with countless viruses that were masking as mp3's etc... THIS is what most people are affected by.

I use to love MSE... but ive had a few virus slip through on some client machines, and i now find that Avast Free is better.

I used to use AVG a few years back but switched to MSE when it first came out, it is great as an entry level antivirus - but it does allow somethings to slip, as a test I ran the free scanner from eset and it picked up a couple of things that MSE had missed, I'm running avast now as it it light weight enough to not notice it and it also picked up the ones MSE left behind.

I switched to it about 6 months ago, and love it. I just hope Microsoft keeps it lightweight and secure.

I throw it on all computers i work on now, and recommend it to everyone that asks me for tech support.

Used to recommend Avast, but people kept getting it disabled by a virus itself.. or by not keeping a subscription. (always was a retarded idea imo.)

hell yeah!!! WOOT!! take that avg but not that it popular i really hope people who craeted virus won't fidn a way to by-pass it like they did with the avg and norton alreayd i dont' want it to happen!!! grr

Ryuujinjakka said,
hell yeah!!! WOOT!! take that avg but not that it popular i really hope people who craeted virus won't fidn a way to by-pass it like they did with the avg and norton alreayd i dont' want it to happen!!! grr

They don't need to by-pass it, they just disregard it as it doesn't block most of the viruses anyway.

MSE in just a mediocare anti-virus application and is horrible detecting 0-day treats, dynamic detection, and cleaning infected Windows PCs (according to AV-TEST).

...Security Essentials struggled with zero-day threats, malicious software which has yet to be analyzed and rolled into an antivirus program's definition files. The average across all 22 entrants was an 84% detection rate, but MSE only detected half of the samples thrown at it. Even more worrying is that MSE only managed to block 45% of malware during or after execution. AV-Test's Andreas Marx said that MSE's lack of effective Web and email scanners were major negatives, and expects that the program's poor results in the lab are translating into equally poor results in the real world, too.

Compare those marks to Kaspersky's 98% detection and 100% blocking

alexalex said,
MSE in just a mediocare anti-virus application and is horrible detecting 0-day treats, dynamic detection, and cleaning infected Windows PCs (according to AV-TEST).

...Security Essentials struggled with zero-day threats, malicious software which has yet to be analyzed and rolled into an antivirus program's definition files. The average across all 22 entrants was an 84% detection rate, but MSE only detected half of the samples thrown at it. Even more worrying is that MSE only managed to block 45% of malware during or after execution. AV-Test's Andreas Marx said that MSE's lack of effective Web and email scanners were major negatives, and expects that the program's poor results in the lab are translating into equally poor results in the real world, too.

Compare those marks to Kaspersky's 98% detection and 100% blocking

I wonder how come MSE gets ranked in top 5 in other tests. The test you mention sounds fishy. It's different from others.

alexalex said,
Compare those marks to Kaspersky's 98% detection and 100% blocking

The question is: do one really need near-100% accuracy in the real world? I don't think so. If 45% is enough to cover most users needs, why should do the rest when it's not needed? It's wasting the effort. Be lazy because YAGNI.

What disturbs me the most is that AVG has the 3rd largest vendor market share at 12.37%. I have never seen a bigger piece of junk in my life. And I'm talking about the paid version! I took on a new client last year that had AVG paid version installed on 150 workstations and it stopped next to nothing. I'd say it stopped nothing but I guess the tracking cookies were stopped (like I care when the bigger problems were getting through). The users still managed to get all kinds of malware and fake AV among other junk on their machines and AVG didn't so much as take a second look. No thanks.

Tim Dawg said,
What disturbs me the most is that AVG has the 3rd largest vendor market share at 12.37%. I have never seen a bigger piece of junk in my life. And I'm talking about the paid version! I took on a new client last year that had AVG paid version installed on 150 workstations and it stopped next to nothing. I'd say it stopped nothing but I guess the tracking cookies were stopped (like I care when the bigger problems were getting through). The users still managed to get all kinds of malware and fake AV among other junk on their machines and AVG didn't so much as take a second look. No thanks.

To be honest I remember a version, which I don't recall the number, was quite good with no bloat (visual and memory wise) and with good definitions.

Tim Dawg said,
What disturbs me the most is that AVG has the 3rd largest vendor market share at 12.37%. I have never seen a bigger piece of junk in my life. And I'm talking about the paid version! I took on a new client last year that had AVG paid version installed on 150 workstations and it stopped next to nothing. I'd say it stopped nothing but I guess the tracking cookies were stopped (like I care when the bigger problems were getting through). The users still managed to get all kinds of malware and fake AV among other junk on their machines and AVG didn't so much as take a second look. No thanks.

I've seen every AV on the market let Fake AV's in. I've seen a lot of machines with MSE installed also have fake AV's installed also. To its credit it did automatically remove a Fake AV once it got installed. By that time all the files were hidden though and start icons deleted. Had to fix that. But the actual infection was gone.

Been happily using MSE since for a year now, a lot less bloat feeling than eset...which is ironiclly why i had switched to it originally. Not sure why they felt the need to mimic mcafee/norton

If only they were allowed to bundle it with the OS, it would be the end of so many headaches I have with friends and family.

lt8480 said,
If only they were allowed to bundle it with the OS, it would be the end of so many headaches I have with friends and family.

Nowadays they can't bundle any kind of useful software into Windows. They're monopolistic practices apparently, not features.

Rodrigo said,

Nowadays they can't bundle any kind of useful software into Windows. They're monopolistic practices apparently, not features.


Heres to that ending with Windows 8 hopefully.

Rodrigo said,

Nowadays they can't bundle any kind of useful software into Windows. They're monopolistic practices apparently, not features.

Unless you're Google. They try to justify it by calling it "being competitive".

Exelent antivirus, MSE is light, easy, and gives less false positives!
once you install it, updated and stop worrying, all of my friends have it and just successful news of virus removal and real time protection.

erikpienk said,
Exelent antivirus, MSE is light, easy, and gives less false positives!
once you install it, updated and stop worrying, all of my friends have it and just successful news of virus removal and real time protection.

Oh my god, you should start doing ads or something

You are not forced to. Two chick and you never hear from it again. Its not hard even for someone who doesn't know to unpick it.

Alaemon said,
You are not forced to. Two chick and you never hear from it again. Its not hard even for someone who doesn't know to unpick it.

wat

I think the reason MSE got so popular so fast is because its the best AV solution out there. No bloat, nothing extra, nothing fancy and it does exactly what its supposed to do. GO MSE!

daddy_spank said,
I think the reason MSE got so popular so fast is because its the best AV solution out there. No bloat, nothing extra, nothing fancy and it does exactly what its supposed to do. GO MSE!

exactly! , it's the reason i switched to it. as i was using Avira previously but it has that small popup advertisement each time it updates (granted my ad-muncher stopped it but without that it normally does it) AND Avira seems to have false positive issues where as MSE does not in my experience.

daddy_spank said,
I think the reason MSE got so popular so fast is because its the best AV solution out there. No bloat, nothing extra, nothing fancy and it does exactly what its supposed to do. GO MSE!
Except it doesn't have the best detection rates, in fact someone rated it and put it in last place..

tsupersonic said,
Except it doesn't have the best detection rates, in fact someone rated it and put it in last place..

got any links?

because i figure if it's 'nearly' as good as most of the rest then ill take my chances with it

tsupersonic said,
Except it doesn't have the best detection rates, in fact someone rated it and put it in last place..

Again, based on what criteria... The only failing it has is that it doesn't update its definitions daily like other products do unless it is told to do a daily scan at night, when it refreshes the definitions.

The realtime depends on these definitions and on some 'testing' the realtime was behind other products because the definitions were a few days stale.

So set it to do a daily scan at night, and the poor reviews disappear.


Microsoft's network of monitoring malware out there is the most advanced out there, especially with MSE (can opt out if you want) reports back new variants and how they changed the user's system. So as more people use MSE, it as a 'collective' of users gets smarter and also deals with repairing the damage of malware better and better.

It is also a better fit on Vista and Win7 (on XP it is less 'great'), as it uses the new OS supplied hooks and APIs, making it not hurt performance or cause problems like some of the other products do by monkeying with crap they don't understand.

daddy_spank said,
I think the reason MSE got so popular so fast is because its the best AV solution out there. No bloat, nothing extra, nothing fancy and it does exactly what its supposed to do. GO MSE!

And because it stays out of your way! It doesn't make itself known unless it detects something and needs user action. It never bothers me with the tray icon, no stupid update noises or messages, no licensing that I have to renew by entering my email, nothing. It just sits there, quietly. That is exactly what everyone wants.
Adobe needs to learn to do this with their stupid updaters.

WAR-DOG said,
It's the most used antivirus because it is forced to the users via windows update

Are you thinking windows defender? this is different...

WAR-DOG said,
It's the most used antivirus because it is forced to the users via windows update

It's not forced. Stop trolling.

WAR-DOG said,
It's the most used antivirus because it is forced to the users via windows update

Oh the whole you just dug...

WAR-DOG said,
It's the most used antivirus because it is forced to the users via windows update

you obviously dont know what are you talking about.... its in OPTIONAL update, i dont see anyone actially using it, unless they reinstall windows and they know they want to use it and they know actually it is in updates... since not many people check about windows update.

yowan said,
but not the most effective...

Based on what criteria?

System Scan - Top 5 if not the top in most tests.
Fix Removal - Top 5 if not the top in most tests.
Realtime - Not at the top because of the definition update cycle.

If you set it to daily updates, which is the only category it lags behind, the definitions are updated before the daily scan. This brings the realtime up to the Top or Top 5 products, as the definitions are more frequently updated. The default once a week scan and definition updates are the only 'semi-bad' thing of the product, and this is easily changed by any user.

Having seen both IT departments and various tech shops that are associated with our company deal with malware, throwing MSE at a problem and letting it not only remove the malware, but repair the damage/settings it might have cause is impressive.

As one company owner told me just last week, MSE has cost them a lot of money, but in a good way. They no longer make money off of selling other solutions, and their end users and client no longer are bringing in hosed systems from malware. However they are saving money in their tech time and their end user support costs. So it does balance out, and gives their customers a much better experience in that they can be assured the repaired system once MSE is installed won't be back for Malware removal.

MSE is far more effective and 'smooth' on Vista and Win7 that have designed in OS level API hooks that MSE works from and with. On XP it has has to work by injecting itself into I/O chains, and like any malware protection software is just less effective and draws more CPU/RAM usage on XP. Which is another good reason to get people to ditch XP, even on older computer they didn't think Win7 would work on, it will if you have 1ghz CPU and 512mb RAM - and it will be faster and have more features than XP as well even at this low hardware level.

ramik said,

Based on this review, it is one of the last in the list in the protection area:
http://www.av-test.org/certifications.php

It's quite obvious that the question was rhetorical, seeing as it was answered it in the next statement. He also made an effort to address why the test you linked didn't go well in MSE's favor. In short, MSE is very effective. However, its default settings are less than optimal.

TrOjAn. said,

True, that's why you need Malwarebyte to scan once a month ;-)

Do you?
I scanned once and thought it a waste of time. Maybe I am just a good internet user who doesn't click on anything untoward.

Mr Spoon said,

Do you?
I scanned once and thought it a waste of time. Maybe I am just a good internet user who doesn't click on anything untoward.

Yes, I do. Not that I have any viruses: I know what sites to visit and what links to click.
When I download something from a source I do not trust, I always scan it first to be sure. Scanning my system once a month gives me the certitude I have no crap on my system

The product is made by Microsoft so people think who best to protect a Microsoft OS than Microsoft themselves, plus it FREE.

Biglo said,
The product is made by Microsoft so people think who best to protect a Microsoft OS than Microsoft themselves, plus it FREE.

And it's really good.

Quick Shot said,
I love MSE. It doesn't boggle my comp down & hasn't failed me since I was beta testing it!

+1 MS

Boggle down? Is that like putting it in a clear square acrylic case and shaking it up? Yeah that doesn't sound good at all.