674262_bug_pc_virusFor years, Microsoft Security Essentials (also known as Windows Defender) was one of the most powerful antivirus programs available. However, Microsoft has lessened its grasp on the program throughout the years, and its ability to perform because of this neglect has fallen. Now, though Windows’ website does say that Microsoft Security Essentials is both useful and comprehensive, they no longer recommend the program as the only antivirus program on a computer.

In 2009 MSE, which can be installed on every Windows machine ever made, was the top of its class as far as free antiviruses go. Not to mention it was easy to download, speedy, and ran quietly in the background without ever any interruptions, unless something dangerous was detected. However, scores have been slipping for the past three years, and Microsoft has been focusing on other projects. Thus MSE has not gotten the attention it deserved.

However, senior program manager Holly Stewart said that MSE was always designed to be the “bottom” and “baseline”. Stewart says that MSE is great for a first layer of antivirus protection, but Windows users should now be using a third-party antivirus instead.

Stewart went on to say that “Microsoft 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. Therefore, we have been passing on much of our information to other antivirus programs to help them make their products better. We’re providing all of that data and information to our partners so they can do at least as well as we are, and eventually surpass us.”

Microsoft recommends any number of antiviruses, all the way from Norton to AVG, and stress that their baseline MSE isn’t bad, just baseline. So if you’re depending on Microsoft Security Essentials, now is a great time to research other choices to see if there may be a better choice for you and your business at this time.

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