MSE Fails on Windows XP SP3, Doesn't Get an AV-Test Certification
Article by George Norman
On 26 Nov 2010
Earlier today I was reporting that Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 got an AV-Test certificate after AV-Test, an independent antivirus research and data security organization, tested 19 security products on a Windows XP SP3-powered computer. And that got me wondering – what did Microsoft’s free Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) do?

Back in Q2 of 2010 (April, May and June), AV-Test put 19 security products to the test and assessed if these products can properly protect a Windows 7-powered PC. Out of the 19 products AV-Test tried out, only 13 passed the test – MSE was among those 13. Microsoft Security Essentials got an AV-Test certificate when loaded on a Windows 7 PC, proving it can properly protect this version of the Microsoft-developed operating system.


For Q3 2010 (July, August and September) AV-Test put the same 19 security products to the test (detailed list available here), but this time they were loaded onto a Windows XP SP3-powered PC. The aim was to evaluate their level of security, quality of system restoration following infection, and user friendliness.

“During the 3rd quarter of 2010 we have tested 19 security products in the areas protection, repair and usability. The 'Protection' covers static and dynamic malware detection, including real-world 0-Day attack testing. In case of 'Repair', we check the system disinfection and rootkit removal in detail. The 'Usability' testing includes the system slow-down caused by the tools and the number of false positives,” explained AV-Test.

To tell you the truth I was hoping that MSE got the certificate. Sadly though MSE did not pass the test this time; it did not get an AV-Test certificate. It got one when loaded on a Windows 7 PC, but failed to get one when loaded on a Windows XP PC.

Here’s how MSE did:
  • Protection score – 3 out of 6
  • Repair score – 3 out of 6
  • Usability score – 5.5 out of 6.
  • Total score – 11.5 FAIL

To get the certification, Microsoft had to get at least 12 points. It was barely there.

If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Security Essentials or download the application, please click here.

Tags: AV-Test, Microsoft, Microsoft Security Essentials, MSE
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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