I recently wrote about CounterSpy, a fairly new antispyware utility from Sunbelt Software. I wasn't aware Sunbelt licensed the code base and definition file from Giant Company Software under a co-ownership deal. The story gets more interesting because Microsoft just acquired Giant Company Software. Sunbelt insists its licensing rights are still legitimate, while Microsoft wants to end the relationship by July 2007. Given Microsoft's legions of lawyers, Sunbelt needs to build its own product from the existing code base and set up its own spyware research center. Microsoft plans to release a beta of its own antispyware utility soon, although beta probably just means a rebranded version of Giant Software Company's antispyware utility. I welcome Microsoft into the fray. Spyware has become so prevalent and ugly that we need a heavy hitter like Microsoft to join the battle. On another note, Webroot published a list of what it considers the most prevalent and nasty spyware, based on reports from its Spy Sweeper antispyware utility. PurityScan tops the list, followed by nCase, Gator, and CoolWebSearch.