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For years, Microsoft has been the laughing stock of the antivirus industry. It seems like every year, we’re posting results from some antivirus test or another that said that programs like Windows Defender did a dismal job of protecting computers.
Well, Microsoft is about to feel a little cocky, folks: Microsoft recently aced tests performed by the AV-Test Institute, where it earned a respectable 14 out of 18 points.
Okay, so that’s not exactly “acing” the test. But based on Microsoft’s previous performances, that’s as good as it gets.
Previously, Microsoft’s score was 9.5, which meant it failed the test (a score of 10 was required to pass).
Other major antivirus products saw some deflated scores this year. Kaspersky, for example, dropped from a perfect 18 to 17.5 points. Meanwhile, Bitdefender was the only antivirus software that scored 18/18 points.
Microsoft Gets Highest Certification from Dennis Technology Labs
AV-Test is typically regarded as the most important and influential test in the industry. However, Dennis Technology Labs performs some pretty good certification tests of its own.
Dennis Labs will search for websites hosting drive-by downloads, adware, and other types of malware. Then, it exposes various antivirus software to these websites.
Based on each software’s response to the attacks, Dennis Labs will award certifications of either AAA, AA, A, B, and C, with AAA certification being the highest.
And guess what? On this latest test, Microsoft scored AAA certification, putting it up there with the cream of the crop in antivirus software.
Microsoft Used to Get Below Zero Total Scores
To put into perspective just how good a 14/18 score is on the AV-Test, Microsoft used to get below zero scores on antivirus tests.
You see, many of these tests award negative points for false positives – say, taking away 5 points for falsely labeling good software as malware while adding three points when it totally prevents execution of legitimate malware.
It’s Not All Good News for Microsoft
Microsoft’s free consumer antivirus achieved AAA protection, although the same cannot be said for Microsoft’s Enterprise product, called Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection.
That product didn’t even achieve well enough to earn “C”-level certification, which is the lowest certification level available.
Meanwhile, most other enterprise products came in at the AAA level, with a few performing at the A level.