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Microsoft's antivirus detects 4 million infections in first week

By Matthew ยท 24 replies
Oct 16, 2009
  1. Microsoft has released some first-week usage statistics of its new antivirus application, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). Redmond made the program available to users in 19 countries on September 29, and it accumulated 1.5 million downloads in the first seven days -- though, it's unknown how many individual systems are actually running the product. That said, Microsoft does know how many computers are infected.

    Read the whole story
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    As far as I am concerned, this is a set of meaningless statistics... based on how many use MSE, and the number of downloads.

    Microsoft collects the statistics and tells us what their marketing department wants them to tell us.
  3. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    Maybe Raybay, but the product is free. Marketing or not, something free that is adopted and working well is a good gesture.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,497   +2,294

    How would M$ even generate this statistic? It seems that MSE "phones home" every time it gets a hit off malware.

    Frankly I don't know if this is good or bad. Well, good I suppose if you want your samples to go toward improving the product (if that's what actually happens), but quite bad if you value your privacy and internet bandwidth.

    Is there a check box opt out for this?

    Indeed, we all dearly love our free security programs. I know I sure do!
  5. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +131

    Yes. I'm currently running it, and it's fine. On installation it asks you if you want to participate in the "phone home" system, just like Windows, Office, and most other commercial products that ask for automatic customer feedback. I all likeliness, most of the machines running MSE (1.7 downloads >> 500000) were infected, but a lot chose not to tell MS.
  6. DarkCobra

    DarkCobra TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I just installed it and you do NOT have to participate in the "phone home" option. It's a pretty nice program that doesn't suck up resources and runs very smoothly. It's very much like Windows Defender although probably updated and improved. I'm going to keep it as several different programs of this type are always good to have and the price is right (free).
  7. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 855   +64

    I'm running it on my home pc and installed it on a customers pc the other day. Both ran fine and she has xp with 512mb ram. You do get the opt out option during install so it's big brother if you want it to be. A good product thus far and I might replace avg on my parents 2 machines.
  8. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Posts: 363   +59

    I installed it on my Windows 7 RC1 (64-bit) machine and was surprised that it immediately found two infected files that AVG Free had not ever detected. I am going to install it on the rest of our home computers (all running XP).
  9. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,410   +809

    I'm satisfied with Avira Free but I still thought I'd give this a chance. Unfortunately it didn't install on Windows 7 RC1 which I thought was due to the RC build, but based on the message above I can now see that wasn't it.
  10. MSE consumes too much memory, hangs the computer, and takes forever to scan.

    maxim: "You get what you pay for." In this case, it's free. So don't expect anything revolutionary.
  11. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I completely disagree. MSE is exactly the opposite of what you describe.

    It's light weight (a silly argument in a world of multi-threaded computers with 4GB RAM anyway, but that's a different discussion), doesn't hang and seems to scan in a decent amount of time.

    Best of all, the interface is very simple and intuitive so that your average user can easily navigate the options and disinfect their own computer and perhaps even better, it actually seems to work. After using it and installing on several infected systems, I've yet to run into a virus that it could not actual remove itself.

    I don't really trust MS all that much and I have almost as much contempt for them as the next guy, but you have to admit some of their products really are pretty good. This is one of those products.
  12. spikester48661

    spikester48661 TS Enthusiast Posts: 101

    i,m runing it on my XP PC use's menmory,no hangs. and scan a little slow. But I can live with it.So for free by M$ its a good thing.
  13. DarkCobra

    DarkCobra TS Rookie Posts: 79

    This does NOT soak up resources to any significant degree at all! The FULL scan mode depending on the size of your drive(s) can indeed be a long scan. However, I find a deep scan to be preferential to these zippy programs that "claim" they've adequately and thoroughly scanned everything within just a couple of minutes . . . yeah right. An accurate FULL scan for a deep rooted clever virus should take time and the process of checking for these doesn't need to be a horse race. I'd rather have it scan my computer "Right" than scan it "Right Now".
  14. T77

    T77 TS Enthusiast Posts: 300   +6

    At least its working and helping users keep clean.every anti virus takes time to scan. that is indicative that it is hard working
  15. Been running it for a week now and I must say my system seems much faster than when I was running Norton 360. I'm liking it so far. Good job MS.
  16. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,761   +435

    Simple. Count the number of downloads of the latest virus/malware signatures.
  17. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,761   +435

    Oops... I was quoting on number of machines running it. Not the infection rate. For infection rate, you are right... it would have to phone home. Installing MSE, you get a box saying you are subscribed to the Microsoft Spynet network *cough*. So I would presume that is another name for their phone home service.
  18. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I personally wouldn't care if Microsoft was phoning home...I don't think they are stalking people o.o.
  19. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 838   +28

    I have to say i don't really trust a security program made by M$. And I really don't like the idea of telling them any more than I absolutely have to about me or my system. I think I will stick with other free anti-virus software and anti-spyware software.
  20. It runs fine and only 'consumes tons of ram' when in active scan mode. Even then it's barely 100 mb, big deal in 2009.
  21. I have two questions:

    1. In referance to your comment about not trusting Microsoft for AV software, who more then Microsoft has more of a vested interest in keeping your Windows machine running as well as possible?

    2. What is it you think that Microsoft is going to do to you if they know more about you or your system? Do you think that they are going to send out the black helicopters? If you want ot be paranoid, fear the government, not Microsoft.
  22. Lou3

    Lou3 TS Enthusiast Posts: 66

    I installed MSE and like it. The installation itself was a breeze, the update was fast, the Quick Scan took about six minutes, and the Full Scan took about 40 minutes. I'm not concerned about it being slow, because scans will usually run automatically in the wee hours while my computer is idle.

    MSE didn't find any viruses, which is probably because it's relieving from duty the excellent NOD32. The difference between the two seems to be that MSE is lighter on digital and financial resources. If a problem arises, I can always go back to NOD32. So far, I'm confident that won't be necessary.

    I too had a twinge of concern about this MS product phoning home, but that could also happen with Windows Updates or via some other back door. If we fear MS that much, it's simply time to switch to Linux.
  23. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    I wonder how many of those 4 million are false positives. I scanned my computer and it found six infections, all false (I'm sure of those).
  24. PenwithFSS

    PenwithFSS TS Rookie

    If MSE slows your computer then it's most probably due to a lack of RAM. I had these effects at first despite a pretty fast P4 processor, but then realised that the 512MB of RAM installed by the computer manufacturer were probably not enough when I often have many webpages open, am recording sound and emailing etc. at the same time. MSE had simply highlighted the fact that I was really pushing the limits. I installed an extra 2 GB of RAM and since then MSE has run unnoticed (and many other things a lot faster of course). When a full scan doesn't interfere with what you are doing who cares how long it takes? MSE certainly seems both quicker and more thorough than Windows Defender. It hasn't found anything yet, but then I already had AntiVir and Spyware Doctor.
  25. elroacho72

    elroacho72 TS Rookie Posts: 116

    I was running Avira free as well but my thoughts are Microsoft as needed to do something about security for awhile. I think a full program designed by the makers of my os; giving it a try seemed to make since. And I've been really pleased.
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