Microsoft has really amped up its focus on security in the modern versions of its flagship OS. Windows 8, for example, comes with its own security software, Windows Defender, which is installed by default.

Initially Redmond only developed an antispyware tool, which was later turned into a fully featured antivirus program — complete with real-time protection backed up by virus definition updates.

But just how popular is it? A new study conducted by OPSWAT reveals that a high percentage of Windows 8 users, in fact, disable Windows Defender and instead opt for a third-party security product, which is most cases comes with a freeware license.

In fact, a rather large 65.2 percent of Windows Defender users have already installed another anti-virus with real-time protection enabled The corresponding figure of Security Essentials consumers came in at only 14.3 percent.

As the report details:

“A high proportion of Windows 8 users in this data set have opted to disable Windows Defender and, in most cases, have installed other antivirus products that are actively scanning their machines.

After further filtering, the antivirus product data shows that about 65% of Windows 8 users have an additional antivirus product (with real time protection enabled) on their machines.”

But as far as antivirus and security vendors go, Microsoft still tops the market.

The software titan has a market share of 25.8 percent — thanks to the combo of Security Essentials and Windows Defender. Avast comes in second place with 23.6 percent, while AVG and Symantec follow with 9.1 and 8.4 percent of the pie, respectively.

Dividing this data by individual solutions shows that Avast! Free Antivirus currently has a market share of 19.5 percent for August 2013.

Microsoft Security Essentials comes in next with its 18.3 percent share of the market, while Windows Defender is a few leagues behind at 7.7 percent. The top five is rounded up by AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition and Avira Free Antivirus and their shares of 6.1 and 5.5 percent, respectively.

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  • Mike Greenway

    From their report “However, these results are likely to differ from those in the real world”

    This study is questionable, 3000 sample may be statistically valid but they only collected information from people that have their software installed, this could easily skew the results.
    I sorry I read this at all,

  • WillyThePooh

    In another viewpoint, there are 7% computer users who don’t use anti-virus programs. In pre-win8 years, they are those who don’t have anti-virus installed. They happen to use window defender because they don’t know it is already installed and is in operation.

  • WillyThePooh

    I have used AVG before. But it keeps changing the start screen of my browser to AVG Search and so finally I removed it and just use Win Defender. Simple. No extra unneeded feature.

    • AFp

      how about avast? 🙂