Microsoft prepares to battle spyware

Microsoft has released a beta version of its upcoming Windows AntiSpyware application. Based on software acquired in its purchase of Giant Software.

The product is designed to help protect users of Windows products from spyware – software that’s secretly installed on people’s computers for a variety of purposes, such as bombarding them with pop-up ads and tracking their Internet usage. The company claims the anti-spyware tools will help people keep their computers running faster and with fewer Web-related glitches.

As far as Microsoft’s plans for the software, little has been communicated to date. Will it be a stand-alone tool or will it be packaged with other Windows products (such as the upcoming antivirus software)? There also no dates for the official release.

It will be interesting to see how Windows AntiSpyware holds up against products such as Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware and Spybot – Search and Destroy.

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