Market Share Report September 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. The data used was collected between August 16, 2011 and August 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 140,000 data points were compiled for this report.

OPSWAT acknowledges that not every antivirus application is included in this report, and specific data may not be available for each included product. Vendors of antivirus and other security applications 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

With 17.5% of the worldwide market, AVAST continues to maintain its strong lead, with little change in the company’s market share during the last six months. However, the next three most widely-used vendors have shown significant gains. Avira gained the most, jumping 2.8% to a total market share of 12.1% to take the third position on the list. Microsoft, in second place, also increased its share by 1.4% to hold 13.9% of the market, while ESET, in the fourth position, increased by 0.9%, totaling 10.6% of the market. The biggest drop for the second consecutive period came from AVG, decreasing 1.4% to a market share of 9.1%. The combined market share of the top ten AV vendors showed a significant increase of 1.1%. Conversely, the smaller vendors who did not make the list, each at less than 2%, generally lost market share over the last six months.

AV Vendor Market Share Gain / Loss
AVAST 17.5% -0.2%
Microsoft 13.9% 1.4%
Avira 12.1% 2.8%
ESET 10.6% 0.9%
Symantec 10.2% -0.7%
AVG 9.1% -1.4%
Kaspersky Lab 6.2% -0.6%
McAfee 4.5% -0.8%
Trend Micro 3.0% 0.3%
Panda 2.3% -0.5%
Other 10.6% -1.1%

North America Antivirus Vendor Market Share

Microsoft continues to make very large gains in the North American antivirus market, increasing its share by 7.6% over the previous six months, for a total of 26.7%. More than ten percent behind Microsoft, Symantec holds the second spot with 15.7%. Trend Micro, seventh on the list, showed the second-largest increase from 6 months ago, increasing 1.2%. No other significant gains were seen; the majority of vendors experienced decreases in North American market share from the past 6 months. Microsoft’s big gain is likely a factor in the general losing trend of the competitors. However, the remaining companies that are not included in the list showed a 0.6% increase overall, forming 10.5% of the North American antivirus market.

AV Vendor Market Share Gain / Loss
Microsoft 26.7% 7.6%
Symantec 15.7% 0.1%
AVAST 11.1% -1.1%
AVG 10.0% -2.0%
ESET 6.8% 0.4%
McAfee 5.4% -1.7%
Trend Micro 3.9% 1.2%
Avira 3.1% -0.2%
Kaspersky Lab 2.8% -0.9%
Total Defense 2.3% -3.6%
Panda 2.0% -0.4%
Other 10.5% 0.6%

Worldwide AV Product Market Share

With a slight gain in market share, avast! Free Antivirus, at 13.8%, continues to lead the worldwide market. However, Microsoft Security Essentials follows very closely at 13.6% and is gaining at a faster rate of 1.7%. Though it trails at a larger distance, Avira Free Antivirus has gained the most over the last six months and solidly claims the third position on the list, at 10% market share. ESET NOD32 places highest in the paid AVs, with 7.1% and a loss of 1% over the period. The biggest decrease over the period came from Norton AntiVirus, which lost 2% over the 6-month period, resulting in a 3.5% market share. The combined share of products not included in the list (each with less that 2% of the market) totals 29%, nearly a 2% decrease from the previous six months.

  AV Product Market Share Gain / Loss
A avast! Free Antivirus 13.8% 0.5%
B Microsoft Security Essentials 13.6% 1.7%
C Avira Free Antivirus 10.0% 2.4%
D ESET NOD32 Antivirus 7.1% -1.0%
E AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 6.6% -0.3%
F McAfee VirusScan 3.7% -0.4%
G ESET Smart Security 3.7% 0.5%
H Norton AntiVirus 3.5% -0.2%
I Kaspersky Internet Security 3.4% -0.9%
J Norton Internet Security 3.2% 1.5%
K AVG Anti-Virus 2.5% 0.4%
  Other 29.0% -1.9%

North America AV Product Market Share

Microsoft Security Essentials made its biggest gain in the North American market, increasing by more than 7%, for a total of 25.3% of the market. This marks the first report that shows any product with more than a quarter of the market. At the next position on the list, avast! Free Antivirus has 8.6% of the market share, with a slight loss over the previous six-month period. Besides Security Essentials, the only other product with a significant gain was Symantec’s Norton Internet Security, increasing almost 2%, for a total of 4.3% of the market and the seventh position on the list. However, the other two Norton products on the list, especially Norton AntiVirus, showed decreases in market share.

  AV Product Market Share Gain / Loss
A MS Security Essentials 25.3% 7.4%
B avast! Free Antivirus 8.6% -0.6%
C AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 7.9% -0.1%
D Norton AntiVirus 5.1% -2.3%
E ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4.9% -0.3%
F McAfee VirusScan 4.4% -0.7%
G Norton Internet Security 4.3% 1.9%
H Symantec Endpt. Protection 2.9% 0.5%
I Norton 360 2.5% -0.3
J CA Anti-Virus Plus 2.4% -2.9%
K AVG Anti-Virus 2.3% -1.3%
L Avira Free Antivirus 2.2% -0.2%
M ESET Smart Security 2.0% 0.6%
  Other 28.6% -1.8%

Antivirus Product Usage: RTP, System Scan, and Updates

For the first time ever, the market share report compares user-controlled antivirus features across the most widely-used AV products in the world. It is expected that products that highlight or automate these features (real time protection, full system scans, and definition updates) encourage users to take advantage of these options more frequently. Over the past year, all of the top products showed real time protection enabled in at least 60% of users. Microsoft Security Essentials showed the highest rate, at 94.6%, closely followed by McAfee VirusScan and avast! Free Antivirus. The lowest percentages came from Kaspersky Internet Security, at 65.5%, followed by Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus. MS Security Essentials also led in the frequency that users updated definitions of the product, with more than 94% updating in the last week. Norton AntiVirus and McAfee VirusScan showed lower frequencies of updates, each with less than 65% of users having updated their definitions in the last 60 days. Users of Security Essentials also had the most recent full system scans, with 74.5% of users scanning within the last 7 days. Avira Free Antivirus, as well as both the included versions of AVG, topped 50% in this category. McAfee VirusScan showed the lowest frequency, with 25.6% of users doing full system scans within the last week and almost half of users going more than 60 days since the last scan.

last scan time and definition updates

Windows Operating System Deployments

For the first time in an OPSWAT market share report, Windows 7 has more than 50% of the market for Windows operating systems. At 51.9%, the OS showed an increase of nearly 4% over the previous six months. In North America, Windows 7 continues to be the most widely-used OS, but it showed a smaller gain and has yet to pass the 50% mark. XP showed similarly large losses in both regions, at more than 8% in both North America and worldwide, while Vista made gains across the board. Though not significant enough to include on the list, various preview versions of Windows 8 accounted for less than 1% of the market in both North America and worldwide. Windows 8, along with other operating systems not stated below, is included in the “other” category.