Microsoft Security Essentials Benchmark Tests

Just kidding, Microsoft Censorship Department. Crawl back in your holes.

Guess what? The free MSE software that Microsoft has released recently has all kinds of restrictions that prevent you from seeing how it compares to commercial products. Check out this statement in the MSE End User License Agreement (EULA):

You may not… disclose the results of any benchmark tests of the software to any third party without Microsoft’s prior written approval.

Wait… what? This restriction means that nobody can test MSE and compare it to other products and then publish the results. If I downloaded a crapload of viruses to see which ones MSE could detect and posted the results here, I would be violating the EULA and Microsoft could sue me. What the hell?

Not even real publications (yes, I’ll freely admit a blog is not a real publication) can publish results without first running them by Microsoft and having them approve the results. This is like buying a car and not being allowed to tell anyone what mileage you get, what parts you had to replace, or whether or not the seatbelts and airbags work. These are kinda vital pieces of information that one needs before trusting a product with something important, like saving their life in a car accident, or saving their data when a virus strikes.

Another shocking discovery: if this software results in, say, you losing an important document because of a virus, or your processor burning up, or really anything happening that shouldn’t happen and costs you money to fix… Microsoft will give you a maximum of $5. Here’s the verbatim snippet from the EULA:

You can recover from Microsoft and its suppliers only direct damages up to U.S. $5.00. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect or incidental damages.

Interesting. Going back to the car analogy, this is like buying a car, and when you are in a wreck, the airbags don’t deploy (which nobody could tell you had happened before because of the other EULA clause), and you get paralyzed from the neck down, but you can’t collect lost wages from the manufacturer even though the car’s faulty airbag is what cause the injury to be so great. Actually, you can collect damages, to the tune of 5 bucks.

After seeing these little tidbits, I decided to scan through and see what else I could find. While these other issues aren’t nearly as important, I still thought I’d point them out.

One problem is that people who haven’t set up the Microsoft Update feature (and are still just using Windows Update) like 90% of the Windows user population, won’t be able to install or update the program. I’m assuming this is fixed by the installer prompting the user to enable Microsoft Update, but I won’t find out because I am sure as hell not installing this crapware on a single one of my computers (in VIPRE I trust).

By installing the software on your device, you also agree to receive updates using the Microsoft Update center. This feature provides you with the latest updates against malware threats and can update your device with the latest updates as needed. If you do not enlist in the Microsoft Update center, you will not be able to install and operate the software.

This points out another problem though. Microsoft Update is notorious for delivering updates painfully slowly, and many people have it set to manual mode, which means they are usually way behind on updates. While Microsoft has tried to address this many times with the Security Center notices and lots of other little goodies to point it out, computer users are generally too stupid to notice and/or care. Automatic updates can’t be relied on. MSE should have its own updater program, instead of using Microsoft Update.

And finally, there is no technical support. None. So when you get a virus in spite of this program, you’re on your own:

Because this software is “as is,” we may not provide support services for it.

And since it will conflict with other antivirus software, Microsoft is essentially asking you to protect yourself with something that might not work (you have no way to find out if it does), is updated infrequently (or not at all), isn’t guaranteed worth a damn, and isn’t backed up with tech support.

Yeah… not gonna happen.

Microsoft, you failed with Windows Live OneCare. Now you are giving your security software away. You can’t even do that right.

6 Responses to Microsoft Security Essentials Benchmark Tests

  1. techwoo says:

    Thanks for nice post. I added you to my twitter.

  2. Jhonny says:

    I woulld like to know if the product works?
    I am not looking for the mercedes benn of antivirus software buy a free option that works.
    Please, send comments.


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