Microsoft Security Essentials tops anti-virus list

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Credits: Robert S. Donovan/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Microsoft’s Security Essentials has officially become the most-used anti-virus program for this quarter and appears to be growing at an exponential rate than its competitors, according to a new report by security analysts OPSWAT.

Microsoft’s free security program – launched in 2009 as a replacement for Windows Live OneCare and an additional layer of protection from Windows Defender – topped the free alternatives from AVG and Avast in both North America and Worldwide rankings.

Security Essentials got a 15.68% percent share in North America, with AVG Free got 10.36%. Worldwide, it managed to take out a 10.66%, topping Avira’s free alternative (10.18% share) by a small margin.

Credits: OPSWAT

Vendor-wise, however, Microsoft remains fourth, behind Avast, AVG and Avira. But the statistics show that Avast is losing market share, previously at 16% to now only 12.37% in worldwide rankings. Microsoft grew from around 7% to now 11.24%.

OPSWAT attributes Microsoft’s jump as part of Windows Update. However, with Microsoft now pushing for security of its operating systems and applications – is this the tide that changes the company from being mocked at for security woes? Plus, with some good reviews, Security Essentials can be argued as one of the better ones.

I still prefer my AVG, however.

You can see the full report here. (Warning: PDF)