Microsoft spruces up anti-spyware tool

Microsoft has released a second beta version of its free spyware removal tool. This includes a host of new features and a new name; Windows Defender.

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  February 18, 2006

Microsoft has released a second beta version of its free spyware removal tool. This includes a host of new features and a new name; Windows Defender. The program – originally called Windows AntiSpyware – features a new interface and an enhanced scanning engine, which Microsoft claims can locate a larger number of spyware programs than previous versions. The anti-spyware app also boasts a new ‘voting network statistics’ feature, which helps users decide whether a certain program is a threat or not by displaying voting results from other network users. Another key addition is that the app now protects all users from spyware, regardless of whether they have administrative privileges or not. In contrast to the first beta version, Defender is now capable of receiving automatic updates via the firm’s http://update.microsoft.com website. Microsoft has also included a new real-time feature to track key changes in a user’s operating system. Users who wish to try the new version of anti-spyware can download it from www.microsoft.com. Last week, Windows AntiSpyware beta 1 mistakenly identified two of Symantec’s anti-virus programs as spyware due to a faulty signature update. Although Microsoft has released a new signature to prevent the program for targeting Symantec’s products, the firm is yet to release a fix for users who have already accidentally disabled these products.

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