(Source: Microsoft)
Report says Security Essentials is most popular due to offering via Windows Update

A new report from OPSWAT has been published and it shows that the free version of the Microsoft Security Essentials is the most widely used antivirus software in the world. The latest version of Microsoft Security Essentials was released at the end of 2010. 

Microsoft notes that the free security software has been downloaded 30 million times so far. The OPSWAT report shows that 10.66% of the 43,000 computers globally that it surveys are running the Microsoft free solution. Second place in the report goes to Avira Antivir Personal with 10.18% and third goes to AVAST! Free with 8.66% of the market. In the Global market the numbers look different due in part to the larger number of offerings that other companies have.

The report said, "AVAST Software and AVG Technologies both top this quarter’s worldwide antivirus market with 12.37% each. AVAST shows a decrease from its leading 16.19% last quarter, which could be due to a shift in the percentage of data originating from various countries. Avira and Microsoft rank third and fourth with 12.29% and 11.24% of the market, respectively."

The report also explains that the reason that Microsoft's offering is so popular is that it offers the protection through Windows Update. In the North American market, Microsoft has a larger share with 17.07% with AVG being second at 15.63%, and Symantec third with 14.47% of the market.

Some AV manufacturers, however, complain that offering AV protection via Windows Update is a little too close to comfort to the Internet Explorer bundling that got Microsoft in trouble over a decade ago.

Microsoft first launched Security Essentials in 2009.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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