Microsoft Awkwardly Refreshes Windows Defender

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4:50 pm March 16, 2007 - For largely unexplained reasons, an edition of Microsoft's Windows Defender anti-malware package numbered 7.0 - way out of sequence - was made available for a brief period late Thursday, and continues to make the rounds through cached databases, including our own FileForum. Late this afternoon, BetaNews located an active link to it on Microsoft's downloads section.

While "version 7.0" appeared to be a legitimate version of Windows Defender, in fact, it's just a refreshed build. Many press sources, including BetaNews, were informed it was a significant update, and we reported it as such. But knowledgeable readers after having downloaded it from us and elsewhere spotted something fishy, and once again, they were right: The "new" Defender is really just a new build, version 1.1.1593.

In the meantime, one blog presented a list of features of "version 7.0" apparently provided to it by someone at Microsoft, including "a redesigned and simplified user interface." And a prominent British site even published a review of version 7, since it was, after all, a real piece of software - if only for less than a day.

The company later explained the version jump was a mistake.

Windows Defender supports 64-bit operating systems, but no longer runs on Windows 2000, because Microsoft says the aging operating system has left mainstream support. WGA checking will also be enforced, meaning that Windows Defender will only remove "Severe" threats from computers that do not pass validation. Windows Defender 1.1.1593 can be downloaded from FileForum.

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