Microsoft Security Essentials cannot be installed on Windows 8, as it is "apart" of Windows defender.
I've looked into the event viewer and have found that I am getting Error ID 7031 and 7034, which are related to Windows Defender services unexpectedly closing. I've also may have a problem with my Windows Updates where I have not had an update specifically for Windows 8 since 1/9/2013.
My system has the same symptoms (I don't know about the Error ID's yet)
Did you find a solution to this problem?