Microsoft preps anti-spyware tool for launch

A beta version of the technology will be available to the public 'in January', Microsoft confirms

Microsoft is putting the finishing touches to its spyware killer, based on technology from its recent aquistion, Giant. The beta version will be ready for the public in a few days.

Microsoft bought Giant for an undisclosed sum on 16 December. The purchase of small US spyware detection software publisher will soon put Microsoft in a position to offer its own anti-spyware application, designed to eradicate software that can, among other things, inundate users with unwanted pop-ups.

US news site Neowin.net has just published the first screenshots of the beta version, putting a release date of 6 January on the beta.

When contacted by ZDnet UK sister site ZDNet France, Nicolas Mirail, technical head of security in Microsoft France, said: "We are already in the process of internal testing of the beta version of the anti-spyware, which will be released to the public in January."

"No precise release date has been set yet," he added.

While the release date for the software, which will be compatible with Windows 2000 and later versions, is not yet known, Microsoft is also keeping quiet about whether the application is designed to be an integrated part of Windows, like a security patch, or whether it will be a piece of software in its own right to distributed or sold separately.

Microsoft is also working on antivirus software, likely to be a standalone offering and also due for release this year.

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