When Microsoft first announced plans to launch a free antivirus software, Symantec and McAfee met the news with disdainful skepticism, arguing that a free antivirus could never compete with their own products. But Microsoft Security Essentials is now the fourth most deployed antivirus software, according to Opswat's latest antivirus market share report. Opswat has a front-row seat to all the action as its flagship product, the Oesis Framework, is a widely used development kit for managing third-party security applications.
Free antivirus tools are more popular than what the likes of Symantec and McAfee will have you believe. In fact, the four most used antivirus tools are all absolutely free. And free offerings command a very healthy 42% market share.
“Although the true market share of security applications often remains hidden, software vendors will claim to dominate a market based on their sales numbers vs. the reported sales numbers of their competitors,” Opswat said in the report.