February 15, 2005 10:49 AM PST

Windows anti-spyware to come free of charge

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into security software.

"I am glad to see Gates is focusing on securing the desktop," said Gregor Freund, chief technology officer of Check Point Software, which develops desktop security software. "However, there are some serious downsides to Microsoft's approach. Just by entering the security market, Microsoft could stall innovation by freezing any kind of spending of venture capital on Windows security, which, in the long run, will lead to less security, not more."

Microsoft has recently been making buys to bolster its security lineup. After closing its aquisition of Giant, the software giant last week said it plans to buy enterprise security software maker Sybari Software, a business-focused move.

During his speech, Gates also said Microsoft will release a new, more secure version of its Internet Explorer browser, which will launch separately and in advance of the next version of Windows, aka Longhorn.

IE 7.0 will use security features available in Microsoft's most recent security update to its operating system, Windows XP Service Pack 2, he said.

The company also plans to bring together its various update services and offer a single place to get security updates for each class of customer. The software giant will centralize Windows, Office and application updates through a consumer service called Microsoft Update, Gates said. Microsoft Update is similar to Windows Update and includes the Automatic Updates feature, plus access to security and reliability updates for Office and other Microsoft applications that run on Windows, a Microsoft representative said after Gates's speech.

Small and midsize businesses that have many PCs to manage and that want some control will be offered another service, dubbed Windows Update, he added. Large companies can exercise more control using Systems Management Server, also known as SMS.

Customers last got a major security upgrade from Microsoft in August, when the company launched Windows XP Service Pack 2, aimed at locking down computers. The operating-system revamp took more than nine months to complete and added a central security interface, a better firewall and several under-the-hood improvements to lock down Windows PCs.

Microsoft is spending fully one-third of its $6 billion research and development budget on security technology, Gates said Tuesday.

Separately, Gates said a planned Windows Server 2003 update, expected later this year, would ship "next year." A Microsoft representative said Gates was referring to the software maker's next fiscal year and that the update, code-named R2, is still on track to ship this calendar year.

CNET News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this report.

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7 comments

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I Dont Believe It, Bill Gates and Freeware in the Same Sentence
Imagine, Bill Gates handing out FREE anti-spyware. Glad Im not a gambler. If I was, I would have lost that hand of Holdem Poker to the Mr. Gates.

The Emperor of Cyber-Space has clothes after all. Thanks for the early birthday present, Bill...it's great Anti-Spyware.
Posted by imiiso (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Call the Justice Department, MS is going to compete unfairly
Obviously MS is going to bundle these new protection packages with Windows just as they did IE. Is the Justice Department going to hit them up for unfair competition against all the other anti-virus and anti-spyware companies?

(Hint: Bundling IE which is just a browser was a right decision IMO. An OS which can connect to the internet should have certain software that comes standard with with it and a browser is definitely among the things it should have.)
Posted by Not Bugged (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
About time
Don't you think it's about time for Bill Gates to give us something free?? Other than the Royal -------- we always get? And it will have patch after patch for 5 years, until it is obsolete.
Posted by jlgraha (1 comment )
Link Flag
right decision IMO
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/mazda_truck_b_series_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/mazda_truck_b_series_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Al Johnsons (157 comments )
Link Flag
right decision
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/porsche_911_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/porsche_911_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Ubber geek (325 comments )
Link Flag
Now I really have hijack problems and about:blank
After installing the BETA software I now have so many problems it is unbelievable.
Until that second I never saw or heard of about:blank

Wow, am i angry.
Irfan
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft listen up, Where is the enterprise console for antispyware
Without a way to manage microsoft anti-spyware clinets across a larger enterprise it is just another limited tool for removing spyware, one of many.

We need an enterprise monitoring and mangement console, to go with the free client!!

That would be the part worth paying for.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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