One month after it shipped its first public beta of Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware, the software giant has released a second public beta version of the product. However, since that first release, Microsoft has cleared up some licensing and pricing issues surrounding its spyware product: This week at the RSA Conference 2005, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced that Windows AntiSpyware would be given to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) customers for free.
"Windows AntiSpyware helps protect users by doing three things: detecting and removing spyware, improving Internet browsing safety and stopping the latest threats," Gates noted during his RSA keynote address Tuesday. "Windows AntiSpyware ... further improves Internet browsing safety through real-time protection, which continuously works in the background to monitor \[PCs\] for any signs of incoming spyware."
The new beta release of Windows AntiSpyware includes a number of enhancements that Microsoft says are based on user feedback. Specifically, the company improved some of the real-time protection agents, added new threat categories, and improved the stability and performance of the product. If you are using the existing beta version of the product, you can upgrade to this new release. Otherwise, it will install as a clean install.
For more information and the free download, please refer to the Microsoft Web site (URL below). I will be updating my Microsoft AntiSpyware Preview on the SuperSite for Windows soon to reflect changes in the new beta version.