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Microsoft rolls out AntiSpyware

Microsoft has released its antispyware program in beta and said a new malware-removal tool will be available Jan. 11.

Windows users can now download the beta version of Microsoft's AntiSpyware, and a new malware-removal tool will be released Jan. 11, the software giant announced Thursday.

"Customers have told us that they need solutions that make it easier to keep computers protected from emerging and ever-changing threats," Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Security Business and Technology Unit, said in a statement. "The solutions we're announcing today will offer customers additional resources to help to protect their PCs against spyware and viruses on an ongoing and predictable basis."

He added that the new tools will build on the "advanced security technologies and proactive protection features of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), which help better safeguard computers from hackers, viruses and other security risks."

Based on technology acquired from Giant Company Software Inc. last month, the beta release of Windows AntiSpyware will "help reduce negative effects caused by spyware, including slow PC performance, annoying pop-up ads, unwanted changes to Internet settings and unauthorized use of private information," the company said. It is available for Microsoft Windows 2000 and later versions.

Microsoft said the malware-removal tool consolidates other tools it has rolled out since last January. It will be updated each month on Patch Tuesday.

"In January 2004 Microsoft released a series of removal tools, each of which targeted a single virus or worm and some of its variants," the statement said. "Collectively, these tools augmented existing antivirus protections by scanning more than 55 million PCs worldwide for viruses such as Blaster, MyDoom and Download.Ject. The new Microsoft Windows malicious software removal tool consolidates these existing removal tools into a single solution. The tool will be updated on the second Tuesday of each month as part of Microsoft's monthly software security update process to respond to new viruses, worms and variants."

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