1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Microsoft's AntiSpyware does dirty work effectively

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by macho GRANDE, Jan 11, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. macho GRANDE

    macho GRANDE Elvis, was a hero to most but................

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,876
    Likes Received:
    406
    Saw this in the Chronicle online today. Downloaded it and it worked wonders. Feels like I have a new PC. Until today I was seriously thinking about tossing my computer over the balcony and starting over.

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/2986954

    Microsoft's AntiSpyware does dirty work effectively
    By DWIGHT SILVERMAN
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

    Spyware is now the biggest computer security problem users face, almost overnight inspiring new categories of software to deal with the threat.

    So it's no wonder that the biggest dog in town has settled in on the anti-spyware porch. Microsoft last week released a test version of a program designed to detect spyware, remove it if it's found and prevent it from infesting your machine in the first place.

    Beta 1 of Microsoft AntiSpyware is very good, and as you'd expect, it's also controversial.

    Spyware primarily infests Windows-based computers for two reasons: Windows' design makes it easy for programs to latch onto key parts of the operating system, and the sheer number of Windows PCs makes it a massive target for those wishing to profit from watching what users do.

    Microsoft hasn't said whether it will charge for AntiSpyware, but the beta is available for free at www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx. A growing number of voices are urging the company not to charge for something that fixes a malady endemic in Windows. They argue that would amount to selling a defective product and then demanding more money to make it work as it should in the first place.

    There are antitrust issues as well. If Microsoft gives away this software, or includes it with the next version of Windows, that could be construed as anticompetitive. As if to underscore that point, the day that Microsoft released the beta, the stocks of Symantec Corp. and McAfee, the top makers of consumer security software, took a dive.

    Microsoft AntiSpyware, which works only with Windows 2000 and XP, is not really new. In December, Microsoft bought Giant Software of New York, which was selling the program as Giant AntiSpyware. Microsoft withdrew the product from the market and has been tweaking and re-branding it.

    Although not one of the best-known anti-spyware titles, Giant's product got high marks from reviewers. And after trying out this beta version, I have to agree. It is as good as anything else I've used, and in some ways better.


    Easy to use
    Microsoft AntiSpyware is easy to use, with a clean, simple interface that won't intimidate novices. But for those who want more control over the program, there's a wealth of sophistication under the surface.

    The initial screen shows the current status of your PC: the results of the last scan, what features are active or disabled and whether the spyware definitions are up to date. You can click on any of these to get more details or to tweak specific settings.

    The major components are: Spyware Scan, Real-Time Protection and Advanced Tools.

    Spyware Scan scours your computer for spyware. You can scan in the most common places it hides, customize the locations, or do a "deep scan" that looks in every nook and cranny. It took a little over nine minutes to deep-scan a 120-gigabyte drive with 32 GB used.

    Real Time Protection monitors components that spyware often attacks. You can accept the defaults or dive into the program's settings and customize each aspect. It can prevent such common headaches as browser start-page hijackings and search-result redirection.

    Serious geeks will love the Advanced Tools, which let you see and change under-the-hood aspects of Windows.


    Doesn't hurt performance
    Microsoft AntiSpyware doesn't have much of an impact on system performance. I tried it on several different machines of varying power and noticed no slowdowns on any of them.

    And it's effective. It found two spyware programs on my main PC that were missed by both Adaware and Spybot Search & Destroy. It also blocked spyware at several questionable sites and alerted me that one of my existing programs was trying to alter a system setting.

    It's also sensible. While it has a feature for deleting cookies, it does not identify cookies as spyware, which some programs (most notable Adaware) do. Cookies are not spyware and should not be treated as such.

    However, this is beta software and as such needs polishing. For example, it identified Kazaa Lite as spyware, even though it's a hacked version of the popular file-sharing program that has had its notorious spyware and adware components removed.

    It also has several cosmetic flaws, including misspelled and poorly used words in its text. Microsoft also tries to get you to jump through the hassle of "validating" that your copy of Windows is a valid one before downloading this software. However, it's not required. Just click through the initial request to validate and you'll then get the choice to say "no thanks."

    While I had no problems installing and running it, your mileage may vary. On the discussion groups devoted to this title, you'll find quite a few users who've installed it and suffered major problems. As is always the case when working with experimental software, back up your important data before installing.
     
  2. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2000
    Messages:
    41,220
    Likes Received:
    4,133
  3. macho GRANDE

    macho GRANDE Elvis, was a hero to most but................

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,876
    Likes Received:
    406
    Oops.

    Please lock.

    Thanks.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now