Microsoft continues to make progress with its security software.

A preview is available of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, a long overdue web site to gather information about viruses and adware/spyware, as well as information about the definitions and status of Microsoft’s security programs.

The OneCare team has made significant progress in beefing up the program’s detection rates to make it score better in tests run by the labs that grade security programs. I’m sympathetic to their argument that the program already catches everything that matters in the real world – some of the labs also check results with long-dead ancient viruses and theoretical exploits that simply don’t exist in any meaningful way. But test results matter in a world of media coverage and perception.

Here’s an example of how that works. Microsoft has also released its centrally managed antivirus suite, Microsoft Forefront, which I’m hoping can be developed into a solution for my Small Business Server clients. Competitors are critical of it, of course. Here’s an article that gives Symantec and Sophos a chance to take shots at Forefront – and I’ll be darned if the criticism doesn’t seem to be wholly based on OneCare’s test results and media coverage. I would take it more seriously if Symantec’s programs weren’t such an ungodly mess.

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