When Essentials started falling behind in effectiveness tests, we stopped recommending it. is now officially saying that they’ve shifted their focus and establishing MSE as a “baseline.”

PC Pro is reporting that Microsoft has “admitted users should install antivirus above and beyond its own Security Essentials.” In a recent interview, Holly Stewart of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center said that Microsoft has changed its approach to antivirus and aim to share their antivirus research with other companies and establish MSE as a “baseline” for other programs to build off of:


“We’re providing all of that data and information to our partners so they can do at least as well as we are,” she 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.”

She added that Microsoft wants “everyone to do better than us because we know that makes it harder for the bad guys”.


Microsoft made these changes while claiming that other antivirus programs are “gaming the tests” and not focusing on real world threats. But, true or not, Microsoft’s new approach means you’re best off using a third-party tool in your arsenal, like our current favorite, Avast.

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Microsoft Admits That Third-Party Antivirus Is More Effective Than MSE