Report: Microsoft Security Essentials gaining more users

Microsoft Security Essentials, the free anti-virus and security software program, is being used more and more by PC owners. That's the verdict of a new report this week published by the software development and service company OPSWAT. The report is based on information taken from the company's AppRemoval tool from March 23, 2011 to February 15, 2012.

The report shows that the free Microsoft Security Essentials program, first launched in September 2009, is now the most popular in North America with 14.58 percent of the market share for such software. Worldwide, Microsoft Security Essentials is in the number two spot with 9.96 percent, behind Avast Free Antivirus with 11.91 percent.

In terms of overall security software vendors, Microsoft is fourth worldwide with 10.08 percent (pictured in the graph above), but that's a huge jump compared to a year ago when it was at 7.27 percent. In North America, Microsoft is number two in the marketplace, behind Symantec, at 14.92 percent. Again, that's a big improvement compared to a year ago when Microsoft was at 9.94 percent.

OPSWAT's report also gives its results on which PC operating system is used the most. According to their study, Windows XP still leads worldwide at 48.86 percent but Windows 7 is close behind at 46.18 percent. Windows Vista is a distant third at 4.33 percent. In North America, Windows XP is again on top at 46.84 percent but Windows 7 is an extremely close second place at 46.58 percent. Windows Vista is third at 6.01 percent.

Image via OPSWAT

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54 Comments

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How is anyone reading Neowin getting positives from their AVs, anyway? If you're an IT pro you don't need to run AV. Or at least a commercial product. Antivirus software is a waste of money. (See: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/03/antivirus/)

As someone said upthread: "The real antivirus is you."

In the 12 years I've been a Windows user none of my personal machines have had a single malware infection. I have detected a couple potential viruses in my torrent folder with an AV back when I used to be a pirate. (now reformed since I make good money).

Now, to be honest, I haven't gone so far as to uninstall MSE at home or VSE at work...just in case. But it's definitely doable without AV at all: Just make sure you browse with a current browser and Flash version and uninstall Java. And if you truly must visit the underworld of the Web, use a sandbox or VM.

For a very good protecting for my personal computer are Kaspersky security and Eset smart security that what u call Anti-virus protection.!!!

Athlonite said,

when was the last time you checked the install folder size on Snorton I bet it aint 23.6MB


and it says nothing about bloat at AVtest.org but it does say that Snortons has more False Positives though (maybe that's good thing /s )

PoohGQ said,

This web site that you're referring to seems to be unreliable. MSE has been on version 3 for over a year and they're still basing their test on version 2.0. Personally I'm running version 4.0 which is in beta right now.

It's still v2 here on Windows 7, unless you're referring to Antimalware client version which is at v3:

Security Essentials Version: 2.1.1116.0
Antimalware Client Version: 3.0.8402.0

Salty Wagyu said,

It's still v2 here on Windows 7, unless you're referring to Antimalware client version which is at v3:

Security Essentials Version: 2.1.1116.0
Antimalware Client Version: 3.0.8402.0

your even a bit behind the times my version is 4.0.1512.0 for both AV and AntiMalware

Athlonite said,

your even a bit behind the times my version is 4.0.1512.0 for both AV and AntiMalware

That's the current beta as far as I can tell. Microsoft Downloads and Filehippo are listing it at 2.1, and WU doesn't offer any program updates for my MSE. No sight of 3.0 anywhere unless they skipped a version number in the beta.

I have a 3 years old PC and MSE doesn't slow down my computer nor my workflow.Its a "basic" antivirus wich integrates well in Windows.The real antivirus is you anyways.

Hello,

I would take such reports with a grain of salt, as there may be some bias due to issues such as sample size, data source, etc. From looking at that chart, I find it very hard to believe that ESET has a larger market share than Symantec or McAfee.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

It's an excellent anti-malware. Doesn't get in the way and minimalistic. Although performance can still be improved. Some free ones like Avast and Avira perform better, especially on low-end PCs.

I personally recommend MSE to any Windows users. It's less bloated than most of the other anti-virus and security software out there, and it bugs users a lot less than the other venders.

I've rescued many PC's using AVG Free and it's nagware over the last few years.

iwillneverstop said,
MSE needs Metro UI too I'm using Avast now but if MSE has Metro UI, I would move to MSE.

There's a "PC Protection" section in the Windows 8 Store, so I'd be willing to bet like 10$ there's gonna be a Metro version of MSE

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that it's now a part of windows update.
I like MSE but I prefer avast mostly due to avast installing itself as a native 64bit program, unless they changed something since I last used MSE.

Skyhawker said,

(by default) doesn't make noise!

yeah, and the version preinstalled on Windows 8 is even quietter - I hadn't realized it was installed until I searched for it

phillthedrill said,
I don't like it at all either. It's a memory/resource hog. It takes up over 100mb just sitting there at times.

OH MY GOD!!! You need to download more RAMs. Have you ever seen what McCrappy uses when running?

phillthedrill said,
I don't like it at all either. It's a memory/resource hog. It takes up over 100mb just sitting there at times.

Oh no, not a 100mb.

phillthedrill said,
I don't like it at all either. It's a memory/resource hog. It takes up over 100mb just sitting there at times.

MsMpEng.exe uses only 36MB on my computer. I don't care either way, I have plenty of RAM to run it even at 100MB.

phillthedrill said,
I don't like it at all either. It's a memory/resource hog. It takes up over 100mb just sitting there at times.

Norton runs much, much lighter than that.

ahhell said,

OH MY GOD!!! You need to download more RAMs. Have you ever seen what McCrappy uses when running?

download more RAMs, um am i missing something?

UndergroundWire said,

Norton runs much, much lighter than that.

Norton is garbage. I installed in on my first computer (custom built) cuz it came with my mobo and it caused a significant performance hit. It would take my comp 5 mins to shutdown. I discovered Norton was causing it by accident and haven't used or recommended it since. It might just be my experiences but every computer I remove it from seems to perform better.

wixostrix said,

Norton is garbage. I installed in on my first computer (custom built) cuz it came with my mobo and it caused a significant performance hit. It would take my comp 5 mins to shutdown. I discovered Norton was causing it by accident and haven't used or recommended it since. It might just be my experiences but every computer I remove it from seems to perform better.


I'm so sorry for you. But since 2007, it runs really nice. I am happy to say I never had your problems you experienced. In fact I recommend it to most people and they love how lite it is now.

If you are judging it by an older version, you really should try it now.

wixostrix said,

Norton is garbage. I installed in on my first computer (custom built) cuz it came with my mobo and it caused a significant performance hit. It would take my comp 5 mins to shutdown. I discovered Norton was causing it by accident and haven't used or recommended it since. It might just be my experiences but every computer I remove it from seems to perform better.

Not just your experience.

I saw the exact same behavior on a colleague's computer -- with the exception that it was taking ten minutes to shutdown. He was just suffering through it silently. Stupid Microsoft, why does it take so long to shut down Windows?

Take one look at Event Viewer, and Norton stuck out like a sore thumb. Uninstalled Norton, replaced with MSE, and the machine now shuts down in 20 seconds.

I'd originally thought it was some interaction between Norton and Group Policy, since this was a domain-joined machine. But if you saw it on a personal build, then the bug might be somewhere else.

UndergroundWire said,

I'm so sorry for you. But since 2007, it runs really nice. I am happy to say I never had your problems you experienced. In fact I recommend it to most people and they love how lite it is now.

If you are judging it by an older version, you really should try it now.

I'm judging it by recent experience to. If it works for you then that's great. I choose not to use it or recommend it.

wixostrix said,

I'm judging it by recent experience to. If it works for you then that's great. I choose not to use it or recommend it.


Works great for me on my two desktops and laptop. Start up time is fast. Shutdown time is fast. No impact on my computer. Excellent performance. No viruses, malware, botnet, etc.

Dot Matrix said,
It's bound to increase as users move to WIndows 8 as well.

actually, windows 8 comes with a "Windows Defender" branded version of MSE

Matthew_Thepc said,

actually, windows 8 comes with a "Windows Defender" branded version of MSE

which means what, cause when windows 8 cp was released ALOT of neowins, are telling us not to install MSE.

th3r3turn said,

which means what, cause when windows 8 cp was released ALOT of neowins, are telling us not to install MSE.


sorry, I don't understand what you're comment is meaning. I was simply trying to point out that he's correct, if only because MSE is preinstalled with W8

I'm not surprised, people back this thing like it's the Jesus Christ of anti-viruses.

I'm starting think I'm the only one who dislikes it.

Younha said,
I'm not surprised, people back this thing like it's the Jesus Christ of anti-viruses.

I'm starting think I'm the only one who dislikes it.

Why would you dislike it? It stays completely hidden and updates through Windows Update.

matrix64 said,
It's has the worst AV detection ratio of all popular AV products. http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/test-reports/novdec-2011/

it certainly hasn't maintained the better rating it had at June 2010
102237 Microsoft: Security Essentials 1.0 yes 4.0 4.5 5.5 Windows 7 06-2010

it's done nothing but go down hill from there still it does work pretty well I've been running the beta Security Essentials Version: 4.0.1512.0 for a while now and it's caught a few things trying to sneak in (and NO not from dubious sites either)

matrix64 said,
It's has the worst AV detection ratio of all popular AV products. http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/test-reports/novdec-2011/

I have to say...I recently fixed a client's machine that was protected with MSE, and it (miserably) failed at catching a rootkit.....I mean, I use it, don't get me wrong, and it's a great free solution (gets better with betas and all...)...but I'd like to see it be able to block all rootkits. That's my only complaint with it, as it does it's job for me and does it very well. (Again, I surf safely, but some of my customers choose not to do so...think that's called PEBKAC)

th3r3turn said,

i dont know, does it help its a default install on windows 8

Technically that's called Window Defender, which also exists in Windows 7 and Vista.

Does this report include Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010? That's basically Security Essentials too.

WizardCM said,
Does this report include Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010? That's basically Security Essentials too.
I don't think so. Forefront isn't free, whereas MSE as mentioned in this article is. I think the article is about consumer anti-virus rather than enterprise solutions.