A reader writes:
Can I use Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 8?
No—but you don’t need to. Windows 8 includes Windows Defender, a program that provides enhanced protection against viruses and spyware.
Learn more about Windows 8
If your computer is running Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, we recommend downloading Microsoft Security Essentials or another antivirus program. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* product that helps protect your computer against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Download Microsoft Security Essentials
For more information on using antivirus software with Windows, see How to get rid of a computer virus.
* Internet access fees may apply while you are downloading the software. To install Microsoft Security Essentials, you must be running genuine Windows on your computer.
Question: Can I download this even if I already have an anti- virus program on my Windows 7 computer?
I have installed Windows 8 Pro. The talk of the antivirus built into Windows 8 is very good. But, from the talk the feel is that it might just not be sufficient for advanced activities like doing banking and the likes...Microsoft mentions it but does not go all the way to explain its real capabilities and sell the proposition against third party applications like Norton 360. This does not give confidence to the user prompting him/her to spend money where it really might not be needed. There is a need for MS to establish its antivirus software as cutting edge or make sure that its Windows 8/8.1 is so secure that there is minimal need for such software for which MS Defender is just sufficient. A real push to educate the users is a real need....