PC Pro has released an article, citing an interview that Holly Stewart, senior program manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center recently had with Dennis Technology Labs. In the interview, Holly suggests that Microsoft Security Essentials is intended to be a baseline (or, good-enough) security product and that Windows users should use an additional security application if they want better protection.
Read the full article here: Microsoft: Security Essentials is designed to be bottom of the antivirus rankings
As we know, Microsoft is notorious for creating software that is just "good-enough." Most of their software development, seemingly involves a checkbox list of items customers have requested or desired. Microsoft will work down the list, filling the needs with things that work but generally aren't top of the line. This course has been great for partners, allowing them to find holes in Microsoft's coverage and develop best-of-breed solutions. But, in a lot of respects has been bad for customers, causing them to have to purchase additional solutions to meet business requirements.
One great example, is where Microsoft began adding power management reporting features into System Center because a) customers asked for it, and b) it was an industry trend at the time. Customers were excited when this happened, only to realize just how limited, and often times inaccurate, the feature turned out to be. Companies like 1E and Adaptiva offer best-of-breed power management and reporting solutions, taking up the slack where Microsoft fell short. But, still, companies that wanted robust features required by the business had to pay for an alternate solution and couldn't rely on Microsoft's good-enough solution. It's very similar to the gadget world where you can get a great priced, functional tablet, but you find yourself wanting all the accessories that are available for it. In the end, it's the accessories that break the bank.
But – is using a good-enough antivirus application the right thing to do? PC protection is critical. Why invest any time at all in a product that you admit isn't meant to be a 100% solution?
And, this brings up another very valid concern. If Microsoft is OK with Security Essentials always showing up at the bottom of the antivirus test charts, what does this mean for their Enterprise security product, Endpoint Protection?
Endpoint Protection, an integrated part of the System Center suite, allows IT Pros to download signature files from Microsoft and deploy them throughout the organization. Unless something has changed, Endpoint Protection uses the same data that is being supplied to Security Essentials, meaning even the Enterprise protection is just good-enough. This really puts businesses in a dire situation.