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‘Windows Defender’ – Microsoft’s Free Security Product

Microsoft, on October 24, 2006, declared the release of its free anti-spyware program for the general public. After two years in 'beta testing', this move has significantly enhanced the software developer's competitive base in the 'security industry'. Ben Fathi, 'corporate vice president' of 'Microsoft's security technology' section formally announced the launch of 'Windows Defender final' at the 'RSA's Conference Europe 2006' in Nice, France.

A security technology, 'Windows Defender', protects Windows users against spyware and other unwanted software. It helps to detect and remove known spyware on the PC. Therefore, it mitigates harmful effects of spyware like reduced computer speed, emergence of pop-up ads, undesirable changes to Internet settings and unauthorized access of personal information. The continuous use of the technology improves safety of the Internet surfing by guarding more than 50 ways by which spyware can enter a PC.

Defender is not entirely Microsoft's own technology. It originated from 'Giant Anti-Spyware', which Microsoft brought into its hold in December 2004. The company bundled the 'detection engine' with 'protection for pop-ups' and any malware that affects computer performance. Microsoft's offer of costless 'Windows Defender' has troubled security vendors. It is predicted that 'Windows Defender' will increase its competitive advantage over security vendors McAfee and Symantec, who set prices for their anti-spyware products. The industry has had enough time to think over this new product and issues connected with it as it is in the stage of beta testing.

The final version of 'Windows Defender' suggests it is bug-free and viable for 'mainstream use'. Customers owning 'Windows Defender' on 'Windows XP' and 'Windows 2003' will get two free service calls for Defender. The defender includes a new 'scanning engine' to enhance its performance. It can also display the 'Windows Defender tray icon' even in the absence of pending actions required.

Microsoft has also employed supports for 64-bit versions of 'Windows XP' and 'Windows Server 2003'. It has withdrawn support for 'Windows 2000' since the operating system was taken out of 'mainstream support'. Microsoft encourages downloading and installation of the final and current version of 'Windows Defender (Beta 2)' before December 31, 2006 when 'Beta 2' supports will be discontinued.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

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