Microsoft Antispyware gets new name

Microsoft has come up with a name for its Microsoft AntiSpyware product. The software is to be launched under the new moniker of ‘Windows Defender’.

Why the new name? According to the blog of the Microsoft anti-malware team ‘Windows Defender is about what Windows will do for customers, defending them from spyware and other unwanted software’. So now you know.

The software was launched under the Microsoft livery as a ‘beta’ after the company bought Giant Software at the end of last year. The product has since gone through a series of changes and is now being readied for launch as part of the new Windows Vista release due next year.

Currently the beta is available as a free download although subject to the terms of the Windows Genuine Advantage programme that means your computer being probed to ensure the OS is kosher before installing the software.

According to the blog, the engine of the new release, which is promised shortly under the new name, will move to a system service with spyware and other malware signatures for rootkits, keystroke loggers and the like being delivered over Windows Update. The company claims that the detection mechanisms have also been radically improved by applying to spyware threats the same level of detection technology that goes into the Microsoft antivirus engine.

As the signatures move into the regular Windows Update service, the company says that corporate users who use the Windows Server Update Service will start to see ‘Windows Defender’ entries in the product category dialog as well as a new classification called ‘Definition Updates’.

The new version looks to be imminent although all the malware team is currently promising is a screenshot of the new livery.

One question remains though, what was wrong with ‘Microsoft Antispyware’ anyway?

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