So ... usually when a question of mine gets closed, I don't open a new question about it. However, this got me thinking.

I've been an Avast, BitDefender, AVG, ESET user through the years. I've seen many AVs.
When MSE got released, I was a bit cautious. Free, and a very good AV.

So I wanted to ask SU, whether someone have some information, or even just an idea why would this make any sense for MS.

And the question got closed in a few seconds.
Please help, how could I make it "acceptable", since I want to change down Avast to MSE, but like this ... I just don't dare to do it on multiple PCs.

The question.

  • 3
    Am I the first one who is attracted here because I read MSE as meta.stackexchange rather than microsoft security essentials?
    – bubu
    Commented May 10, 2011 at 4:45
  • @bubu Same here. Commented May 23, 2011 at 8:04

3 Answers 3


Your question is one that you should ask the sales or marketing department of Microsoft.

What's the point with the Microsoft's AV solution? I mean.... why are they doing this? Of course, I don't really ask for company / other inner 'secrets', but a logical explanation. (If possible.)

It's less a question on the workings of the software and more on the motivation behind its release. As such, that would be off topic.

Don't see an on topic version of this.

If you were asking about installing it or configuration, that would fit. But then that would evolve your question into something else entirely.

  • 1
    Well, MS wins this one I guess.
    – Apache
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 22:05
  • well, the answer is probably that MS bought a AV company and has made a corperate AV for years. MSE solves both their issues with 'security' and acts as a gateway product to forefront, the same way AVG uses AVG free to sell their full product
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented May 6, 2011 at 1:16

The text of your question:

For example, I see the point at Avast, Avira and the other free AVs. They make a free product, so their paid version also gets attention.

What's the point with the Microsoft's AV solution? I mean.... why are they doing this? Of course, I don't really ask for company / other inner 'secrets', but a logical explanation. (If possible.)

I'd say this runs afoul of the following "What kind of questions should I not ask here?" faq entries

  • There is no problem in your question -- "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" and "I’m curious if other people feel like I do."

  • it's almost a rant, though in all fairness I do think you made a decent effort to avoid this -- "it is a rant disguised as a question: '______ sucks, am I right?'

  • It is off topic. It's not really a technical question. It's more of a business question: "Why would an operating system company want to offer a free anti-virus product for their operating system, with no paid version?"

Bottom line, PLEASE read the faq. It is there for a reason, and you only need to read the first 4-5 paragraphs to get the most important stuff at the top.

  • 1
    You spelled amirite wrong. :P +1 though, good answer. :)
    – user541686
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 17:05

The tone of your question is very argumentative, by my reading. It's not even clear what you're asking because your tone comes across as disingenuous.

To answer the question I think you asked:

The reason MS produced their own free AV product are pretty simple: Increasing security makes Windows more attractive as an OS.

Publishing your own AV solution means your customers are not required to buy third-party software on top of what they already paid when getting the OS. When AV companies have all this marketing saying how viruses and malware are so prevalent but MS doesn't offer any real protection, it looks extremely bad.

Simply put, MS's customers shouldn't have to pay a third party extra money just so the OS is secure when they're already paying ridiculous amounts of money for the OS itself. It makes MS look like they don't care about their customers. Whether they actually care or not is irrelevant, but looking like you don't care is absolutely fatal. MS might be a monopoly, but that doesn't mean they don't need to worry about competition from Apple or Ubuntu.

The horribly shoddy programming that most AV programs suffer from which cause tremendous performance issues also makes Windows look bad. What good is it to get the shiny new computer with the shiny new OS if it's going to run just as slow because of the same shitty AV program? Remember when Norton was good, and now it's shitty bloatware? Remember when AVG was good, and now it's shitty bloatware? I suspect we'll be adding more programs to this list like Avast! and Avira eventually.

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