Microsoft Admits MSE is Just Basic Protection

torre

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Per this article:


Microsoft has aggressively promoted Security Essentials until not a long time ago, saying that it provides at least similar protection as any other anti-virus product, including rival software from Kaspersky, ESET, Symantec, or Bitdefender.

Holly Stewart, senior program manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, admitted in an interview with Dennis Technology Labs, a company that performs anti-virus tests on a regular basis, that Security Essentials is indeed designed to remain “at the bottom” of all rankings, so users should really install third-party protection.

The surprising statements are actually supposed to show that Microsoft is trying to work with partners and security companies across the world as much as possible, with Security Essentials holding a key role in this collaboration.

The tech giant is keeping Security Essentials fully updated in order to provide the protection users need, so any other piece of software that achieves better results than this one is clearly capable of providing advanced security features.

"We had an epiphany a few years ago, back in 2011, where we realised we had a greater calling and that was to protect all Microsoft customers," Steward was quoted as saying by PC Pro. "But you can’t do that with a monoculture and you can’t do that with a malware-catching ecosystem that is not robust and diverse."

The Microsoft rep admitted, however, that Redmond previously invested a lot of money trying to make Security Essentials achieve better results in all these anti-virus tests.

"We used to have part of our team directed towards predicting test results and figuring out what might be in someone’s test. There’s always a cost to that," she said. "If they are doing that work they are not looking at those threats that are affecting our customers. We always felt that was wrong. There’s something not right about that – we’re not doing the best job for our customers."

Now it all comes down to the collaboration with partners that are supposed to provide better protection, even though Security Essentials doesn’t score well in anti-virus tests.

"We’re providing all of that data and information to our partners so they can do at least as well as we are," Stewart said. "The natural progression is that we will always be on the bottom of these tests. And honestly, if we are doing our job correctly, that’s what will happen."

Is this a way to explain Security Essentials’ recent poor performance in anti-virus tests? Maybe, but it’s pretty clear that Microsoft isn’t yet ready to develop a full-featured security product, so third-parties seem to remain your only choice for an unbreakable computer.

Microsoft Admits That Security Essentials Is Just a Basic Anti-Virus Product
 

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I am vindicated than, Ha Ha. Been saying that all along, it's only a "better than nothing" alternative.
 

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MSE serves a purpose - for those users who are not computer literate and don't feel the need to be - like my wife. At least it catches some of the bad stuff without the user being confused by decisions. I am glad it is available, it's saved my pc several times over the years.
 

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MS have gone back to their original description, "basic protection" is what they said at the beginning.

I haven't been using it.
 

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As an example when the exploit against IE came out last week, Norton updated one of their features to block it. They use a multitude of features to stop the bad guys that MSE doesn't have.

Jim :cool:
 

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Back to Avast again:think: One thing I did notice with MSE was that it was rubbish in detecting Malware i.e your pups and toolbar thingies that take over your system such that you get with downloads from CNET these days.
 

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Installed AVAST 2014 RC1 (9.0.2003), working fine with Win8.1.
 

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I read the article a little bit differently. I think there are two key points which have implications that need to be fully understood.

1. Microsoft is giving away all their knowledge of legitimate virus threats to the competition.

2. Microsoft is focusing their efforts on responding to real viruses in the wild, instead of spending a lot of time and money trying to predict how virus software will be tested by professional anti virus testing companies (like the one in the article).

What are the implications? Microsoft will not be able to beat the competition by keeping information they know about secret. The consumer however will benefit as external AV companies will not have a weak product. And MS will not be embarrassed by attacks on their software due to weak external AV software.

If external companies take the MS info gratis, and then spend their time/$$ predicting how their software will be tested, they of course will come out of any simulated testing program on top.

Does this mean the MS AV software is bad? I don't think so. I want software to protect me against real viruses, not ones that in effect are created to make the AV software look good. The AV software companies and the AV software testing companies have a bit of a self dealing game going on...

Just my thoughts
 

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A virus is a virus, no matter who and why created it. If my AV detects it and can deal with it is the only reason I use it. Can't realy take chance that something detected is "real" one or something else.
 

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I want software to protect me against real viruses, not ones that in effect are created to make the AV software look good. The AV software companies and the AV software testing companies have a bit of a self dealing game going on...

From what I have seen at AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives they don't create viruses but use what is found in the wild and try and use a wide selection to fairly test AV systems. So to say it is "rigged" is just BS.

Jim :cool:
 

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I read the article a little bit differently. I think there are two key points which have implications that need to be fully understood.

1. Microsoft is giving away all their knowledge of legitimate virus threats to the competition.

2. Microsoft is focusing their efforts on responding to real viruses in the wild, instead of spending a lot of time and money trying to predict how virus software will be tested by professional anti virus testing companies (like the one in the article).

What are the implications? Microsoft will not be able to beat the competition by keeping information they know about secret. The consumer however will benefit as external AV companies will not have a weak product. And MS will not be embarrassed by attacks on their software due to weak external AV software.

If external companies take the MS info gratis, and then spend their time/$$ predicting how their software will be tested, they of course will come out of any simulated testing program on top.

Does this mean the MS AV software is bad? I don't think so. I want software to protect me against real viruses, not ones that in effect are created to make the AV software look good. The AV software companies and the AV software testing companies have a bit of a self dealing game going on...

Just my thoughts

:ditto:

First of all I've had to read the article twice. English is not my native tongue, but I can't believe that this article is written in proper English.

Secondly, I concur with "Ron AKA". Microsoft is putting their effort in batteling the real virusses instead of pimping the outcome of a specific test.

I'll keep on using MSE :).


Greetz,

Rover
 

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I got my answer i'm going to stick with Windows defender i have never had a issue. when i get one then i will switch but for now it works.
 
Last edited:

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Everyone can make their best choice. The article does state that Microsoft recommends a 3rd party AV. Also, Microsoft shares info with AV companies to protect their OS and does not compete for superiority in the AV field.

Another review posted on Softpedia.

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) represents Microsoft's initiative to offer a free antivirus to users who do not want to pay for such a service, while still taking advantage of powerful features. It includes a real-time guard against various types of malware, like viruses, spyware, Trojans and rootkits.

The application offers support for Windows XP, Vista and 7, whereas Windows Defender is the built-in av program in Windows 8 (they share the same virus definitions). Although it is widely regarded as entry-level security software, MSE has some advanced settings under the hood

The Good

Microsoft Security Essentials implements a shell extension for scanning custom files, folders or drives when exploring the computer. The real-time guard can be disabled from the Settings panel. The interface is incredibly easy for novices to figure out. Resources usage is generally low when the real-time layer is activated and no scans are running.

The Bad

The notification system is intrusive. Too many messages keep popping up from the bottom-right corner of the screen when no actions need to be taken. During tests, confirmation for cleaning the same threats was often requested by Security Essentials.

When the tool is applying selected actions on infections, you cannot cancel the task, navigate MSE's interface or minimize the window. The progress bar in the “Potential threat details” panel is frequently misleading when removing or quarantining files, aside from the fact that the job takes too long. It starts filling the meter rapidly and progressively decreases in speed.

The History tab does not include reports for each scan job, nor total scan time. Furthermore, it is not possible to schedule custom scans or definition updates, look for only particular file types, or specify the default action for real-time protection and scan methods individually.

The Truth

The bottom line is that MSE is a suitable security solution only for casual users who don't venture too often in the Internet's darkest corners. More advanced (or courageous) people will need to take the next rational step: upgrading to a more powerful product


Microsoft Security Essentials Review (complete lengthy[DEL][/DEL] article)
 

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I always felt that MSE was just an extension of Microsoft's anti-piracy program, and basically did very little unless a keygen or suchlike was detected. Malware just passed right through, and you needed Malwarebytes regularly to catch BHO and PUP malware. If you are unlucky enough, Malwarebytes will quarantine almost everything in your Windows folders that Windows Defender had let in and require a reinstall.

With Windows 8 Microsoft feel they have conquered the loader and SLIC workarounds that plagued Windows 7, and therefore will not put any more effort into antilmalware. With the demise of Technet etc., and software mostly distributed via the Store they just will not bother anymore.

It's just MSAV all over again, MSE will just fail to be updated, and 3rd parties will supply the AV again.
 

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If they wished, Microsoft could have built and provided with Windows an AV product that rivaled the best commercial versions on the market. But there are a number of good reasons why they chose not to.

1. If they had done so it would leave companies such as AVAST, AVG, AVIRA, Symantec, etc, without a market for their products. This issue has caused Microsoft a great deal of expensive legal trouble in the past. Thus they are constrained as to what they can provide with Windows.

2. This may come as a surprise to some, but Microsoft does not have unlimited resources. They must chose where those limited resources will best serve both their customers and shareholders. Creating a good AV product takes a very considerable effort. And this is a market that is already well served with both commercial and free products. Microsoft chose to devote their efforts to the OS itself, a field that cannot be well served with third party products.

You can recommend that people install a third party AV product, and Microsoft has done this. But most people won't. So it would seem a responsible thing to provide an AV product that provides "Basic protection." This minimizes the drain on resources and avoids legal problems.
 

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torre;2856 The article does state that Microsoft recommends a 3rd party AV. Also said:
Here is a link to a more complete report of the story. Where does it say in actual quotation marks, i.e. real words spoken by Holly Stewart, that Microsoft recommends a third party AV. To that issue, she did say:

"Baseline does not equal bad," she said. "We provide a high-quality, high-performing service to our customers and if they choose not to buy [antivirus] on Windows 8... we want to get those people protected."
 

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From what I have seen at AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives they don't create viruses but use what is found in the wild and try and use a wide selection to fairly test AV systems. So to say it is "rigged" is just BS. :cool:

So, you wouldn't mind having John McAfee as your neighbor, and lend him your wheelbarrow, if he asked for it...

21.01.FF_.McAfee.DL_.59838.Wired_McAfee__040sized.jpg
 

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