Why Security Essentials stopped being top Microsoft choice (update)


This is what’s going on: For years Microsoft Security Essentials was the free antivirus of choice for homes using Windows 8, 7, Vista, and even XP (I recommended over the top security software brands) — so it was AVG back in the day –. Now it seems that because MSE is falling behind among other AV solutions the company is changing the way of thinking, saying that its antivirus is just a “baseline” and it’s advising users to install a third-party security software to stay better protected from viruses and malware.

The news is not sitting well among users who had been loyal to Microsoft Security Essentials (also known as “Windows Defender” in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1), many people are saying that the firm has stopped trying and it’s abandoning a great product. But in my opinion I think that Microsoft is feeling the pressure of security software companies as they probably has been losing revenue because Microsoft is offering a good antivirus for free for home users.

Also it’s possible the company is just playing safe, so this doesn’t become another case of Microsoft blocking third-parties, like it happened with the Internet Explorer back in the day.

No doubt that Security Essentials will remain a top choice antivirus for many users, specially for savvy ones. MSE by far is better than other AV software, mostly because it uses less system resources, works quietly in the background without bothering the end-user constantly with every activity, and because pretty much catches all the most common viruses and malware out there.

One thing to be clear about is that the software giant won’t stop supporting Security Essentials anytime soon. The company simply won’t recommend the software a full featured solution.

Keep in mind that if you’re using Windows 8 or 8.1, you cannot uninstall Windows Defender; you will simply install a new antivirus and the operating system will automatically disable it, because, of course, you don’t want to be running more than one security software in your system.

What do you think about Microsoft’s move? Will you be switching to another antivirus? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Update: Setting the record straight, Microsoft decided to defend its position of its antivirus/malware software saying the following in a new article from the company’s Malware Protection Center:

We are fully committed to protecting our consumer and business customers from malware. […] We believe in Microsoft antimalware products and strongly recommend them to our customers, to our friends, and to our families.

So there you go, once again the software giant recommends its own security software. Now there is no need to look for another alternative.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.