Do I Still Need 3rd Party Anti-Virus Software on Windows 8?


The short and firm answer: NO.

Why? Because Windows 8 brought in the industry-proven Security Essentials, which is currently available as a free separate download for Windows users, to reborn the long fading Windows Defender, meaning that Windows 8 users will get an out-of-box anti-virus solution.

Head over to Control Panel, select View by Small icons, you will be able to see Windows Defender listed there. Double click to launch it. What you see is what we see similar on our Windows 7 machine that has the Security Essentials installed.


If you compare the about Window on both products, you will find Windows Defender on Windows 8 is pretty much the same as Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7.

This is from Windows Defender:


And this is from Security Essentials:


It’s a bad news to those anti-virus vendors but is a very good news to the end users. It’s a long overdue piece that should be part of any of Operating Systems. A poll conducted on ZDNet shows 82% of people are welcoming this idea while 18% of people are still thinking creating a security monoculture is a bad idea.


With Windows Defender stands up and the close environment for the Metro Apps, there are not much room left for these 3rd party anti-virus vendors. Yes, people may still not like what Microsoft offers and love to cough up some money for their products. But one thing is certain that the anti-virus market on Windows is obviously shrinking. They may switch their attention to somewhere else, like growing-crazy Android market. Because it’s chaos there and malwares like chaos.


  1. Not usually one to say stick with Microsoft completely with Anti Virus because I know down the road this will make the Virus creators very happy to only have to worry about one program to try and disable. Its like telling a thief that you have a Policeman always at the front door, but the backdoor is wide open and nobody is watching it. So I think their will be some argument against selling the user on Microsoft only security. This is not to say I do not think MSE and its replacement in Win 8 is not good.

    • That’s a valid point, John. Besides, the competition is always good to make the products better and better.

      While I am not that stubborn thinking we need to stick with Microsoft. What I really hate is seeing people coughing up the hard earned money to something that’s equally you can get without a dime. Besides, I truly believe anti-virus is due on Microsoft to make it and make it without additional charge on top of the operating system.


  2. Just a thought, creating a security monoculture is not a good thing, but including antivirus in the OS is a good thing. Why dont Microsoft include several scanning engines like it does for its forefront technology, that way the seperate security companies still make money and have a diverse set of virus scanning capabilities, but antivirus is included out of the box. if you want something “extra” then the end user pays for it direct from the security firms. co-operate, its easy really when you think about it.


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