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Microsoft Security Essentials is the basic line of defense between Windows users and the dangers of the internet. Unfortunately, Microsoft Security Essentials, or MSE, routinely fails in independent tests and leaves its users exposed to phishing scams, malware, and other serious threats.
For all of these reasons, Microsoft Security Essentials has steadily developed a bad reputation since its release with Windows 7 in 2009. For a program designed to be an “essential” security service, it doesn’t provide very much protection.
Well now, Microsoft is revealing why MSE isn’t such a great program: it was never designed to be anything more than a bottom-of-the-barrel antivirus program.
In a recent interview, the senior program manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center revealed that Microsoft Security Essentials is a “baseline strategy”:
“We had an epiphany a few years ago, back in 2011, where we realized we had a greater calling and that was to protect all Microsoft customers. 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”
“It’s not as efficient to have one kind of weapon. Like anything, you must have that diversity. It’s a weakness to just have one. 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….we always felt that was wrong. There’s something not right about that – we’re not doing the best job for our customers.”
Here’s what you need to get out of this recent interview:
-Microsoft is no longer devoting as many employees to Microsoft Security Essentials or its threat detection
-Microsoft is currently using MSE as a baseline defense for Windows users and recommends users install a third-party antivirus software
But here’s the most telling part of the interview: Microsoft wants “everyone to do better than us because we know that makes it harder for the bad guys…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.”
In other words, the tech world should stop posting the same stories about Microsoft Security Essentials and its failed tests. Instead, we should focus on recommending the best antivirus software for Windows users.
At least we now know that Microsoft is aware of how poorly MSE performs in tests and does, indeed, care about the security of its users. Now let’s stop complaining about Microsoft Security Essentials and start talking about real PC issues.