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Microsoft Working on Spyware Solution

   During a weekend trip to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates revealed that his company is working on an antispyware software solution. Gates didn't say when the company would ship the technology or whether it would be bundled with Windows or shipped as a standalone product.

   Gates did say, however, that Microsoft is dedicating "hundreds of millions of dollars" of its $5 billion annual R&D budget toward solving the problems of "malware and adware." Although Gates says that he's never been victimized by a virus, his PCs have been riddled with spyware, forcing him to run third-party spyware scanners. "I haven't had a virus on my machine basically ever," he said.
In a related Webcast event, Microsoft Security Business and Technology Vice President Mike Nash said that the company's spyware efforts will likely come to market in a free system update similar to Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). "Some of this will come through extra protection in the platform," he said. "But it's also clear that there are some good third-party solutions available today as well. As our plans develop, we will update you with our progress."
Additionally, Microsoft is working on an antivirus solution, although the delivery plans for that product might have changed. Originally, Microsoft intended to ship its antivirus technology as a core part of Longhorn, the next Windows version. With Longhorn's release slipping to 2006, however, Microsoft could deliver the antivirus solution before that time, perhaps as an XP update.

TAGS: Security
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