Scott Hanselman

Microsoft's AntiSpyware Beta - We shall see how it stacks up against SpyBot and AdAware...

January 06, 2005 Comment on this post [5] Posted in Musings | Tools
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SpynetWow, only 23 days since Microsoft acquired GIANT Company, they are releasing a BETA of Microsoft AntiSpyware.

It shore is purdy.

But I wonder why we need a separate program for:

  • Anti-Virus (coming soon)
  • SpyWare (in BETA)
  • Firewall (in SP2)
  • Popup Blocker (in SP2 and in MSN Desktop Search and in MSN's original  Toolbar. Why?)
  • Phishing Protection (nothing from Microsoft yet. There's yet-another-toolbar available from Netcraft to protect against phishing)

These are no doubt different teams at Microsoft. It'd be nice to have a single, unified "Keep Evil Away" program that did all of these. Spyware is a virus as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't get spyware if I had ActiveX blocking, popup blocking or a good fireware. This is all getting a little confusing for my Mom, and I'd like a good way to explain to here why the Internet is out to get her.

Warning: be careful with the decisions you make with this particular tool, you may accidentally block your IT organization's SMS servers.

GiantfileYou know, you'd think the first thing one would do when acquiring a company would be to change the EXE name...


About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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January 06, 2005 21:05
This is becoming more true, a one-stop software program to block all the badness that exists on the Internet is needed. Hopefully we will see integration soon.
January 06, 2005 21:48
I would be surprised if this wasn't integrated into the MSN Toolbar Suite, but it probably wasn't included in SP2 because of schedule delays.

I agree though concerning the strange distinction between Spyware and viruses.
January 06, 2005 22:09
Or, as they say on Slashdot, why don't we fix the OS instead so that is less vulerable so we don't need all of these extra programs.

I know that only goes so far - a lot of the spyware/phishing now works through social engineering - you can't really make an OS that prevents the user from installing software when they ask it to. You will always need some sort of "blacklist", which shouldn't necessarily be part of the OS - so I agree a separate program is necessary. But I also agree that some work could be done with the OS to make it more explicit to the user that they are installing something and the potential repercussions.
January 07, 2005 10:03
Why three popup blockers? Because the pop-up blocker in SP2 is great, but only if you're running XP. The old MSN Toolbar is, well, old. And the new MSN Toolbar Suite also has to run on Windows 2000. I agree that if it could auto-detect SP2 on install that would be cool, but hey, it's still just a beta...

Oh, and a rollup of anti-virus tools is coming out next Tuesday. Lots of people seem to have missed that announcement :)
January 09, 2005 2:50
The problem with integrating all these things is probably a legal one. And integrating into the OS is almost certainly out for the same reason.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.