As with all other Microsoft upgrades, Windows 8 will provide a more secure and safer to use experience. Windows Defender which was bundled in Windows since the release of Vista has been significantly improved from previous versions. Instead of providing general protection from malware and monitoring software such as Spectorsoft, Sniperspy and Stealthmate, Defender now has full-fledged antivirus capabilities which was previously seen in Security Essentials. Combined with Microsoft’s approach of using metro style apps through a Microsoft owned apps market that has a vigorous approval process, Windows 8 will be among the most secure version of any Windows operating system.
Metro apps improve security
Metro style applications in Windows 8 will decrease the need of programs that you would normally install on your desktop. Microsoft is paying a hefty fee to known application developers so that Windows 8 has a healthy selection of applications that will do anything you want. How does this help security you ask? Microsoft, like Apple, will have a strict approval process before allowing an application into the market place. This will filter out applications that have malicious intent towards your computer.
This approval process will greatly improve applications installing malware, but there is and will always be a risk of buggy applications reducing the risk of your security. However, like other mobile operating systems, all apps installed through the market place are easily updated. You will be notified when the latest updates for an application are available, thus greatly reducing the risk of buggy apps harming your computer.
Windows Defender / Security Essentials
Windows Defender has undergone major changes in Windows 8 compared to Vista and Windows 7. While previously Defender helped protect against malware and spyware, it was not an antivirus substitute. Anyone who wanted full antivirus protection using Microsoft software downloaded MS Security Essentials. The Defender version in Windows 8 is basically Security Essentials with a name change. The interface is the same and the purpose of the application is the same. Defender has completely replaced the need for third party antivirus programs in Windows 8.
Does bundling an antivirus lead to increased risk?
Because Microsoft is the most common operating system, people with malicious intent try and find flaws in it more than any other operating system. Bundling Security Essentials in Windows 8 might lead to the same thing happening with its built in antivirus program. If everyone is using the same antivirus software, Microsoft does leave open the possibility for a single exploit being extremely devastating to many users.