Market Share Report June 2012



OPSWAT releases quarterly market share reports for several sectors of the security industry. This report includes both worldwide and North American market share for antivirus software and Windows operating systems, as well as worldwide market share for instant messaging (IM) applications. The data used was collected between May 16, 2011 and May 15, 2012, and features comparisons across the two 6-month periods spanning these dates. Please note that OPSWAT is not a research institution; this report aims to distribute the unique data collected to inspire public discussion, not to make any claims as to why changes have occurred.


Founded in 2002, OPSWAT provides software engineers and IT professionals with development tools and data services to power manageability and security solutions. The company’s flagship product, OESIS Framework, is a manageability solution licensed by major technology companies like Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Citrix, Microsoft, HP, and many others. As the industry standard for enabling endpoint application manageability and compliance regulation, OESIS has already been deployed on an estimated hundred million endpoint systems worldwide. To learn more about OESIS, please visit the product page at

The Research

This report shows usage data for security applications on Windows systems. The data was collected using OPSWAT’s AppRemover tool, which utilizes the detection capabilities of the OESIS Framework to collect information regarding the applications installed on endpoint computers. This tool is free for download on and various download sites around the web, and is used around the world by home and business users, both expert and inexperienced in security software. The sample is assumed to be representative of the market for this report, based on the wide accessibility of the tool to a large range of users.

If the user of the tool opts in, a report of the applications installed on the computer is created. These opt-in reports are compiled to generate the market share calculations in this report. More than 120,000 data points were compiled for this report.

In addition to applications detected by the OESIS Framework, other well-known applications are also included in the IM market share based on registry searches. OPSWAT acknowledges that not every security application is included in this report. Antivirus, IM, and other security application vendors interested in inclusion in these reports and the OESIS Framework are encouraged to contact to learn how to partner with OPSWAT.

Worldwide Antivirus Vendor Market Share

Avast continues to dominate the worldwide antivirus market, as it has for the last few years. Now at 17.4%, the vendor has slightly increased its share compared to the previous 6-month period. However, its top two competitors, Microsoft and ESET, increased their shares at faster paces of 1.8% and 2.0%, respectively. Over this period, Microsoft climbed from 3rd to 2nd on the list, and ESET from 6th to 3rd. These top three companies’ increase in market share led to a general decline in share for the challengers. The biggest loss came from AVG, who fell from 2nd to 5th place. Overall, the top ten vendors included in this report are increasing their hold on the market, with a 1.2% gain for a total market share of about 89%.

AV Vendor Market Share Gain / Loss
Avast 17.4% 0.4%
Microsoft 13.2% 1.8%
ESET 11.1% 2.1%
Symantec 10.3% -0.3%
AVG 10.1% -1.8%
Avira 9.6% -0.9%
Kaspersky Lab 6.7% 0.0%
McAfee 4.9% -0.4%
Panda 2.9% 0.0%
Trend Micro 2.8% 0.4%
other 11.1% -1.2%

North America Antivirus Vendor Market Share

Microsoft has a much stronger presence in the North American market than it does worldwide, and its share is increasing at a faster pace in North America. Over the past six months, Microsoft averaged a market share of 22%, a large increase of 5.8% over the previous six months. Total Defense (CA) also posted big gains with a total share of 6.4%, a 4.7% increase over the period. These large increases resulted in either very small gains or losses for most of the competing companies on the list, especially Microsoft’s closest competitors: Symantec, Avast, and ESET. Trend Micro was the exception to these losses, adding about 1% market share over the period to come out with a total of 3.4% over the last six months. The biggest loss comes from AVG, down 2.9%, followed closely by Avast, who lost 2.8% in North America despite a significant gain in worldwide market share.

AV Vendor Market Share Gain / Loss
Microsoft 22.0% 5.8%
Symantec 15.1% -1.0%
AVG 11.2% -2.9%
Avast 10.5% -2.8%
ESET 7.0% 0.2%
Total Defense (CA) 6.4% 4.7%
McAfee 6.2% -1.1%
Trend Micro 3.4% 1.0%
Kaspersky Lab 3.2% -0.7%
Avira 2.9% -1.1%
Panda 2.5% 0.1%
other 9.6% -2.1%

Worldwide AV Product Market Share

Avast! Free Antivirus continues to lead the worldwide market at 13.5%, an increase of 1% over the previous 6-month period. Usually this increase would reinforce the top product’s position, but Microsoft Security Essentials is close behind and narrowing the gap. Security Essentials has almost 13% of the market, and with a 2.3% increase, is gaining at a much faster rate than that of avast! Free Antivirus. The third-most popular product, ESET NOD32, also increased its share to 8.3%, a gain of 1.2%, while the next three competitors each lost more than 1% of the market. Further down the list, the biggest gain in the challengers came from Norton Internet Security, gaining 1.5% for a total market share of 2.8%. Avira Free Antivirus and Norton AntiVirus show the biggest loss at -1.5% each. The top 11 products showed a slight increase in their control of the market, and the top five products combined control almost half of the market.

  AV Product Market Share Gain / Loss
A avast! Free Antivirus 13.5% 1.0%
B Microsoft Security Essentials 13.0% 2.3%
C ESET NOD32 Antivirus 8.3% 1.2%
D Avira Free Antivirus 7.5% -1.5%
E AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 6.8% -1.1%
F Norton AntiVirus 4.3% -1.5%
G McAfee VirusScan 4.1% 0.5%
H Kaspersky Internet Security 3.6% -0.2%
I AVG Antivirus 3.3% -0.9%
J Norton Internet Security 2.8% 1.5%
K ESET Smart Security 2.7% 0.4%
  other 30.1% -1.6%

North America AV Product Market Share

Microsoft made its biggest gains in this category, with Security Essentials increasing 6.6% over the previous six months for a total market share of 21.3%. This share is much more than twice the 8.2% of its nearest competitor, avast! Free Antivirus, which lost almost 1.5%. Total Defense (CA) Anti-Virus Plus also experienced a big gain of 4.6%, resulting in 6.1% of the market and a remarkable climb from 18th to 4th position on the list. The remainder of the top five--AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition (#3) and Norton AntiVirus (#5)--posted losses of about 2% each. In contrast, Norton’s second product on the list--Internet Security--gained 1.8% of the market for a 3.5% market share. Overall, the top 11 AV products in North America increased their combined dominance of the market, with a gain of 6.2% for a total of almost 70% of the market. Nearly half of the market is controlled by the top 5 products.

  AV Product Market Share Gain / Loss
A MS Security Essentials 21.3% 6.6%
B avast! Free Antivirus 8.2% -1.5%
C AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 7.7% -2.1%
D Total Defense AV Plus (CA) 6.1% 4.6%
E Norton AntiVirus 6.0% -1.9%
F McAfee VirusScan 5.2% 0.6%
G ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5.1% -0.4%
H Norton Internet Security 3.5% 1.8%
I AVG Antivirus 3.1% -1.4%
J Norton 360 2.7% -0.1%
K Symantec Endpt. Protection 2.4% 0.0%
  other 28.6% -6.2%

Windows Operating System Deployments

OPSWAT’s data for this report shows that Windows 7 has replaced XP as the most widely-used operating system over the last 6 months, although no product was detected on more than 50% of computers either worldwide or in North America. The increase in Windows 7 users is more pronounced in North America, while both regions showed near 8% loss of market share for XP. Vista has also seen an increase in market share of 2.4% worldwide and 4.7% in North America, although its use remains low at around 10.4% in North America and 6.41% worldwide. Though the final version of Windows 8 has not yet been released, preview versions were detected. However, Windows 8 totaled far below 1% of users and is included in the “other” category.

Instant Messenger Market Share

OPSWAT used both the detection capabilities of the OESIS Framework as well as registry information to determine the market share of well-known instant messaging (IM) applications. The market share by application is shown to the right. Windows Live Messenger accounts for over 64% of the installed IM applications, followed by Skype, which accounts for 18.6% of the installations. The share attributed to Google Talk includes both users with the Google Talk client installed and users with the video chat plug-in installed.

The vast majority of the Instant Messaging market consists of only a handful of products. The top ten products make up over 99% of those detected. Furthermore, the top three have a combined market share of more than 90%. These numbers do not account for the market share of web-based instant messaging services such as Google Chat and Facebook. If these services were included in this report, it is suspected that they would greatly reduce the market share of the products currently in this report.

instant messenger market share
  Instant Messenger Market Share
A Windows Live Messenger 64.4%
B Skype 18.6%
C Yahoo! Messenger 7.2%
D Tencent QQ 2.9%
E Google Talk 1.9%
F Gadu-Gadu 1.3%
G Mail. Ru Agent 1.3%
H ICQ 0.8%
I ooVoo 0.6%
J other 1.0%