Yes, that’s true. Windows 8 is fully protected out of the box right from the minute you finished installing it, by an old thing called Windows Defender with a new heart named Security Essentials. If you like and trust the work done by Microsoft’s free anti-virus product Security Essentials, you are all set with no more needs looking for a good anti-virus product to protect your new Windows 8 computer, whether it’s free or paid.
The new revamped Windows Defender is still playing low by hiding itself in the Control Panel quietly doing its job without your attention at all. You won’t even see it from the system tray either.
Comparing to the standalone version Security Essentials, you don’t see a scheduled scan job option in the program. But that doesn’t mean Windows Defender only runs in real-time protection mode. It actually still does the scan based on the schedule, in the Task Scheduler. If you look closely in there, you will notice there are actually 4 jobs related to Windows Defender scheduled to be run every day around 3:00am in the morning by default, one of which is a scheduled scan similar to the scan in Security Essentials.
It’s certainly a good news to all the end users who no longer need to pay to get the same service but if for some reason you still prefer a 3rd party anti-virus product you still have the option to install them to replace what Microsoft offers. Just make sure to stop and disable both Windows Defender services from Services manager in your Windows 8. Using 2 or more anti-virus doesn’t help you increase the chance not being hit. It’s usually the other way around if you do.
With Windows Defender standing up and the close environment in Metro UI, 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 certain is that the anti-virus market on Windows is obviously shrinking. It’s probably a good idea for them to swing their attention to somewhere else, like growing-crazy Android market. Because it’s chaos there and malwares like chaos.