Microsoft's popular free antivirus program Security Essentials has put in a mediocre showing in the latest quarterly tests from German test outfit AV-Test
.org, finishing second bottom out of 22 products.
In Q1 2011 Security Essentials 2.0 (MSE) performed well at the least demanding test, that of spotting malware drawn from the industry-agreed Wildlist selection
, scoring 100 percent. It also put in a good performance against a large group of recent malware samples selected by AV-Test itself, with a creditable score of 97 percent detection.
However, the product's performance deteriorated sharply when pitted against 107 recent zero-day malware web and email malware attacks, described by AV-Test as 'real-world' testing', spotting only half. The product's performance in 'dynamic detection testing' - noticing malware on or post-execution - was also modest at only 45 percent.
For context, the test average for real-world and dynamic testing was 84 percent and 62 percent respectively.
The top-scoring product in the tests was BitDefender's Internet Security Suite 2011, with a maximum weighted score of 6.0 across all tests, ahead of BullGuard Internet Security 10, F-Secure Internet Security 2011, and Kaspersky Internet Security 2011, all on 5.5. MSE scored 2.5, ahead of only one product, CA Internet Security Suite 2011.