Microsoft Takes On Spyware with Beta

As expected, Microsoft has released a new beta of recently acquired GIANT Software's anti-spyware software to the public via its Web site. The company also announced that it expects to release a beta version of a new antivirus tool next Tuesday, which is based on technology acquired from GeCAD in 2003.

Details of Microsoft's anti-spyware plans were first leaked to Windows enthusiast site Neowin.net earlier this week.

"Customers have told us that they need solutions that make it easier to keep computers protected from emerging and ever-changing threats," said Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Security Business and Technology Unit at Microsoft. "The solutions we're announcing today will offer customers additional resources to help to protect their PCs against spyware and viruses on an ongoing and predictable basis."

The company's antivirus partners have complained privately that the company has been taking advantage of their partnerships in order to find out how to best serve customers through security software.

Some claim that Microsoft is working against them by moving into an arena where the company originally had shown no interest, and they thought an understanding had been reached that its partners would handle Internet security issues, not Microsoft.

Microsoft, on the other hand, says these tools are meant to complement current antivirus technologies rather than replace them. However, unlike its partners, these tools will come at no charge. More information can be found on Microsoft's new spyware Web site, and the Windows Anti-Spyware Beta can be downloaded from FileForum.

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