PC Tools has announced the results of an independent comparison by Enex Testlab of anti-spyware software including Microsoft’s own Vista Windows Defender.

PC Tools hired the independent testing facility, Enex Testlab to evaluate how Windows Defender stacks up against third party vendor tools. It said testing Windows Defender against third party vendors demonstrated why best-of-breed products are still vital.

“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, Enex TestLab senior test engineer.

“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, chief executive of cache of security and utility product vendor, 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 users, said Clausen.

“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,” he said.

According to the aggregate Enex test results for the entirety of 2006, Microsoft’s Windows Defender quick scan was able to block only 46.6% of dangerous threats while their full scan blocked 53.4%.