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Microsoft rolls out the final version of its anti-spyware utility

Microsoft has released the final version of its Windows Defender anti-spyware utility. The program has been in beta for the past two years and is now available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Windows Defender is a product of the Microsoft acquisition of GIANT Software. The December 16, 2004 acquisition resulted in the first iteration of the software, Windows AntiSpyware, which was a thinly veiled copy of GIANT’s AntiSpyware. Over the past two years, numerous updates have been made to the utility along with the name change to Windows Defender.

Windows Defender incorporates Real-Time Protection to monitor systems for spyware activity, automated spyware removal with scheduled scans, full integration with Internet Explorer 7.0 and automatic spyware definition updates from Microsoft.

Windows Defender is available freely to all customers running a genuine copy of Windows. Microsoft has also announced that customers will each be allowed to report two support incidents for free with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

With Symantec having already reported Microsoft to the European Union for anti-trust violations over its Kernel PatchGuard protection in Vista, there's no telling how Symantec and McAfee feel about Microsoft offering a free anti-spyware utility.





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