Microsoft has conceded in the past that its anti-malware offerings only provide baseline protection. For Windows 7 and Vista, there’s Microsoft Security Essentials, while Windows 8 and Windows 10 come with the nearly identical Windows Defender.
While more advanced users gravitatetowards third-party antivirus softwares to gain an edge, many consumers will tend to stick with Microsoft's default options. Now, AV-Test Institute has published its latest findings, perhaps lending a bit more confidence to the stock malware protection provided by Windows.
Each vendor's score is a sum of three metrics: Threat protection, Performance (system slowdown, speed) and Usability (ease of use, false positives). Each item can attain a rating of 0 to 6, totaling a maximum of 18 points. A minimum of 10 must be achieved to gain a certification rating.
Several years ago Microsoft did poorly on a regular basis, scoring 9.5 and 11.5 during the Windows 8 era. The results prompted Microsoft to defend its commitment to protecting users in a blog post, citing its own telemetry data as indication of progress.
However, Redmond’s scores have improved in the most recent round of testing: on Windows 8, Microsoft scored 15.5, while for Windows 10 and Windows 7, the total was 14.0 for each. (In the screenshot below, vendors are listed alphabetically; Microsoft is placed at the bottom because their software is considered baseline. Full test results can be viewed and sorted by operating system, performance metric and timeframe.)...