1. Since last few years any one who asked me on recommending a Antivirus for his/her PC...I would always say if you have a original Windows...then leave your worries to MSE...thats Microsoft Security Essentials ie MS's own antivirus or may be I would recommend Kaspersky PURE in few other cases who were not happy with MSE.
2. I had been using MSE for my own system as well...and I found it worked pretty fine...light on use and had no major compatibility and configuring issues since it worked mostly in the background.But there has been some decline in recent time and efforts by Microsoft in keeping with the pace of the hackers and cyber criminals!!!
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4. And to me, that's a huge concern considering how Windows 8 itself draws on a lot of MSE for its own in-built security....:-)