In an interview with PC Pro, Microsoft admitted that its free Security Essentials (Windows Defender in Windows 8) anti-virus software provides merely a "baseline" that will "always be on the bottom" of anti-virus software rankings. The software giant says that its software should merely be seen as a first layer of protection, and that customers are advised to use third-party antivirus software to get better protection.
Holly Stewart, senior program manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, told Dennis Technology Labs that Microsoft made a decision to switch to what it calls a "baseline strategy".
"We had an epiphany a few years ago, back in 2011, where we realised we had a greater calling and that was to protect all Microsoft customers," she said. "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."
Rather than focus on making its own antivirus the best in the business, Stewart said Microsoft was "doing everything we can to protect against real threats" and passing data on those threats to antivirus makers, so multiple parties can target the problems.