One feature of Windows 8 that many PC consumers may appreciate is the additional efforts that Microsoft has made to incorporate built-in antivirus and anti malware protection. This isn’t a new feature that wasn’t around in Windows XP, Vista or 7, but Windows 8’s updated Defender software has taken some hints from Microsoft’s successful Security Essentials offering.
In Windows 7, I used Microsoft Security Essentials, as it is a fairly decent antivirus program and it’s offered for free, with no yearly subscription charges. However, upon doing an in-place upgrade to Windows 8, I noticed that Security Essentials must first be uninstalled, as it wasn’t eligible for Windows 8 migration.
Upon doing a bit more research, I quickly learned that Windows 8 comes equipped with an updated version of Windows Defender, which is very similar to Security Essentials anyways…
Notice the similar interface from Windows 7 Security Essentials (download) to Windows 8’s built-in Windows Defender program. With that noted, many consumers who will be updating to Windows 8 in the next month may ask, does Windows 8 need an antivirus program?
The simple answer is no. Windows 8’s built-in and updated Windows Defender software is Microsoft’s go at creating all-in-one virus and malware defense for the operating system. So, with Defender updated to a more Security Essentials like interface, Windows 8’s built-in software should be effective at detecting and removing the majority of viruses.
However, Security Essentials and Windows Defender are not exactly everyone’s preference; so installing third party antivirus software is still a great option also; but, isn’t running multiple antivirus programs counteractive and wasteful? Yes, but as arstechnica notes, Windows 8 Defender will automatically detect any 3rd party antivirus programs and deactivate in accordance to the 3rd party program. Thus, if you have a 3rd party preference for an antivirus solution, definitely use the software in Windows 8.
If you prefer not to purchase a 3rd party specific antivirus solution, then you can simply use Defender, which Microsoft hopefully keeps up to date. Another smart feature of the new Windows Defender is a subscription detection mechanism that will automatically activate Windows Defender, should the 3rd party antivirus solution expire.
Those are just a few notes regarding Windows 8’s new Defender software and 3rd party antivirus programs. Thank you for stopping by the site for today’s post.