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Independent test of Windows Defender against third party vendors demonstrates why best of breed products are still vital

London, February 20, 2007— PC Tools announced today the results of an independent comparison by Enex Testlab of anti-spyware software including Microsoft’s own Windows® Defender.

PC Tools hired independent testing facility—Enex Testlab—to evaluate how Windows Defender stacks up against Spyware Doctor(1) and other third party vendors. The internationally renowned, independent lab has been performing comparison tests for the past 17 years. The lab compared identical threats against a number of leading anti-spyware products throughout 2006 —Spyware Doctor was the conclusive overall winner.

“We have taken a look at several anti-spyware vendors over time to determine the current level of accuracy against spyware threats in 2006. These results show Vista requires more work to protect users. Third party security vendors—especially in the area of anti-spyware are still essential components in protecting users.” said Matt Tett, Senior Test Engineer for Enex TestLab.

“We have been watching with interest the development of Microsoft’s Vista security effort. We know that Microsoft is facing difficult challenges with the broadening scope of dangerous malware attacks while also trying to maintain backwards compatibility and usability. This independent research was designed to show how we compare in combating real-world threats over an extended period of time,” said Simon Clausen, CEO of PC Tools.

Research from other security vendors revealed weaknesses in Vista’s security - demonstrating ineffective blocking capabilities, slow definition updates and weak in-built anti-spyware protection. These independent results from Enex Testlab further illustrate how Microsoft must continue to improve the Vista security component to protect consumers.

Recently, a third party vendor chose its own testing sample-set and performed basic tests out of their own threat research lab. They also reported weaknesses in the spyware blocking capability of Windows® Defender.

“While we agree with the overriding conclusion that Vista security is lacking, this approach fundamentally contradicts the laws of statistical analysis, and clearly creates a bias result. By hand-picking the sample-set, it is easy to return results showing whatever you want. It would even be possible to show Vista had 0% blocking ability.” Clausen explained.

“We wanted to prove through an independent and unbiased review- where PC Tools did not choose or supply the sample-set, that Vista’s anti-spyware protection is in fact inadequate, and could result in a false sense of security to consumers.”

According to the aggregate Enex test results for the entirety of 2006, Microsoft’s Windows® Defender quick scan was able to block only 46.61 percent of dangerous threats while their full scan blocked 53.39 percent. Tested at the same time and using the same sample-set, PC Tools’ Spyware Doctor quick scan blocked 83.26 percent and the full scan blocked 88.69 percent receiving the overall number one ranking for the complete year, against Defender, and other leading anti-spyware products.

“These independent results demonstrate that consumers must continue to rely on third party products such as PC Tools’ Spyware Doctor(1) to keep them secure from spyware and other malware threats,” Clausen said.

(1) Current awards include: PC Magazine Best Anti-Spyware 2005, Editor’s Choice 2006; Windows XP Magazine, Editor’s Choice; PC Pro Recommended 2006, A List product; PC Answers Editor’s Choice 2006; PC Advisor Gold award 2006; PC User ‘Top Buy’ 2006; Computer Shopper Best Anti-Spyware of 2006.


PC Tools is a global software leader with a cache of security and utility products, including the multi award-winning Spyware DoctorTM. PC Tools is an industry leader in real-time anti-spyware and has a number of key patents pending.

PC Tools is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in San Francisco, London, Dublin, Melbourne, and Kiev. PC Tools has a global network of distributors, resellers, and retailers.

The PC Tools Malware Research Centre monitors trends and emerging spyware issues and provides security solutions for the consumer and enterprise marketplace. The company is headquartered in Sydney, with offices in San Francisco, London, Dublin, Melbourne, and Kiev. PC Tools has a global network of distributors, resellers, and retailers.


With a heritage stemming directly from RMIT University, Enex TestLab provides high quality, independent testing services to government and corporate clients internationally.

Enex TestLab’s reputation is founded on independence, rigor, accuracy and the usefulness of our work in saving customers money and reducing their risk. Enex TestLab’s testing services have evolved over decades to represent one of the worlds most sophisticated, experienced and creative testing enterprises.


Marc Ambasna-Jones
Monument PR
0845 355 1178

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