Security Advisor

Security Essentials Market Share Soars

Despite unfavorable testing scores from multiple security firms, Microsoft's Security Essentials market share sees huge growth.

When do poor consumer test scores not matter? When you're Microsoft's Security Essentials.

After reporting last week that security firms like AV-Test and NSS Labs gave Microsoft's free antivirus software low marks in doing its job, a new report this week by market analyst OPSWAT shows that the low scores hasn't stopped Security Essentials from claiming a hefty chunk of market share.

Microsoft Security Essentials increased its worldwide share in the month by 2.3 percent to settle with 15.3 percent of the total market share -- enough to make give it the first-place position. Avast! Free Antivirus came in a close second with 13.6 percent.

OPSWAT was quick to point out that this is the first time in its history of testing that Security Essentials is No. 1 worldwide.

In North America, the race isn't even close. Microsoft claims 30.4 percent of all those using some sort of antivirus program (and saw a huge gain of 9.1 percent for the recent monitored period). This is well above its closest competitor, avast! Free Antivirus, which clocked in with only 8.7 percent.

So what is the cause for Microsoft's recent gain? Has it benefitted from a huge wave of consumers purchasing new Windows 8 machines with Security Essentials built in? Based on the preliminary Win 8 sales numbers, this doesn't look to be the case.

Since security vendor tests have done little to slow down the adoption rate of Microsoft's antivirus offering, what's your theory on its growth? And what do you go with when it comes to virus protection?

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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