Microsoft Security Essentials: Thoughts on AV

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is available to everyone and it’s getting very favourable reviews from most people. The only nay-sayers so far seem to be the dedicated AV companies such as Symantec.

I’m not going to bother analysing the comments as it’s pretty obvious that most AV companies will say:

a) It’s rubbish


b) We don’t care because ours is so much better

and I’ve got an older post about how good I find it to be.

I think Microsoft’s introduction of a very good, easy to use, free anti-malware solution is a blessing and a breath of fresh air for home users. Just like the corporate market, there are now:

  • Too many manufacturers
  • Too many products
  • Too many features in each one

The number of machines I’ve seen that have at least 2 overlapping programs installed is pretty high. This is usually down to all the FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) causing people to panic a little bit and over-protect themselves…this often causes the machine to run poorly.

Then you have the the sheer number of vendors-who all say their product is the best:

  • Symantec/Norton
  • Panda
  • Eset
  • Kaspersky
  • AVG
  • Bullguard
  • Avast
  • F-Secure

and that’s not all of them. Yes-you could argue that Microsoft have made this worse by offering a real contender but I don’t think that is the case…I think it will streamline this situation of over-choice. Microsoft is obviously a well respected brand and so many people will choose MSE because they’re familiar with the name. As it’s all free-it can’t really be anti-competitive really can it? All it can be is easier and better for the average home user…and that should be everyone’s focus in the world of consumer security.

I’m pretty sure that non-web savvy people searching the internet for “free anti-Virus” often leads to them downloading the opposite-a package full of bloatware, trojans, key loggers and more. However, people going to:

will stop all that.

The idea that people having a manufacturer’s free product at home leads to them purchasing that vendor’s corporate offering at work isn’t particularly true, in my opinion. I speak to a lot of customers who run AVG at home…but none of them use AVG at work-they go with Symantec, Mcafee, Microsoft etc. I’ve also spoken to people who, after using Norton at home (usually as bloatware on a new machine) have removed Symantec from the workplace due to the bad experience!

All in all, I see this making it easier & safer for everyone involved 🙂

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