Thursday, January 13, 2005

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Free Microsoft Program To Battle Spyware Has Some Serious Flaws

WSJ.com - Personal Technology: Free Microsoft Program To Battle Spyware Has Some Serious Flaws: "Unfortunately, the company's first free security program has some serious flaws and lapses. I've been testing Microsoft's antispyware software, called simply Microsoft AntiSpyware, and I can't recommend it, in its present form, over the leading third-party antispyware program I have favored, Webroot's Spy Sweeper.
To be sure, the new antispyware program is not a finished product. It was acquired just last month when Microsoft bought a small software company, and Microsoft engineers had only a few weeks to tweak it before releasing the beta. Company officials insist they intend to fix the program's problems based on feedback from beta users, and I take them at their word. But some of the flaws in this first release are especially disturbing because they make it appear that the company may be subtly using its security software to promote its other products, at the expense of competitors."

Walt Mossberg also comments: "Some critics argue that Microsoft should stay out of the security-software business so as not to use its Windows monopoly to unfairly compete with third-party security vendors. But I have never believed it was inherently wrong for Microsoft to add core functions to Windows, even if they competed with add-ons sold by other companies. And I regard security as a core function. To me, the need to protect Windows users, especially consumers and small businesses without IT staffs, trumps any antitrust considerations."
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