AV-Test GmbH did a thorough test of Microsoft Security Essentials, with almost 3200 viruses, Trojans and worms. All files were detected by the AV, even those ones that aren’t yet detected and cleaned by other paid AV software. They also tested it for false positives, where an AV points out legitimate software as a virus, and even then Microsoft Security Essentials passed the test with flying colors. None of the clean files were marked as malicious by it.
Its ability to detect malware and rootkits has also been praised by AV-Test and they’ve found no reason to complain so far. Although they want to test it against more sample just to be sure. With lightweight performance, and no nonsense design along with almost next to none useless prompts MSE has really put up a competition to the many popular and mostly useless when needed AV software that not only bug the user but fail to detect many viruses.
J.R. Smith, the CEO of AVG Technologies, who also make a free antivirus said:
It just doesn’t give you the protection that you need, people aren’t worried about antivirus anymore. Most of it is just noise. Security Essentials will help, especially in emerging markets. But it’s centered around viruses, which the bad guys aren’t really pushing anymore.
J.R. seems to be missing the fact of how bad the detection rate of AVG is, no wonder they don’t think it’s not about viruses anymore. Microsoft and other companies have phishing more than covered in their browsers nowadays, specially Internet Explorer 8 having good features to protect the user from it like domain highlighting, Smart Screen Filter and the likes. They don’t really need to implement more phishing features in their AV to bloat it up like other companies do.
Although still in beta, and more tests to come in August by AV-Comparatives.org, we’ll get a clearer picture of what Microsoft Security Essentials has to offer for users. But for now, if you’ve got your hands on Microsoft Security Essentials, stick to it. It works on the mantra of install it and forget it, while providing bullet proof security.