Two Microsoft developers Jason Garms and Steve Dodson last Friday have announced on their blogs that popular Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta, also known as Windows AntiSpyware, will be no more. It will soon be replaced with Windows Defender, a broadened and improved version of the current application. Apparently this is not just a name change, somewhat regular in a software business, but a great step forward the release of a comprehensive computer security suite, which would offer both anti-spyware protection and antivirus defence. According to some rumors and unofficial statements Microsoft plans to include an antivirus module in Windows Defender.
Microsoft officials did not present Windows Defender yet and still keep silence about its technical details. So, blogs of Microsoft employees are the only sources of information reliable enough. According to them Windows Defender will be included into the forthcoming Windows Vista operating system and bundled as a standard component like Windows Firewall today. The new product will be highly integrated into the OS. Its scanning engine is to be implemented as a system service and updates to malware definitions database will be distributed through the Windows Update service. Microsoft developers now are working under optimized Microsoft AntiSpyware engine and other essential modules, which have been radically improved in order to provide a better detection and removal of spyware parasites, rootkits, trojans, keyloggers and other unsolicited software. Jason Garms also noticed that the engine’s new variant is made by applying specific technologies used in yet unreleased Microsoft antivirus.
Windows Defender will also be available for all Windows XP users that should be able to download and install it as an extra tool, similarly as Microsoft AntiSpyware. Future Vista users will not have to setup the program separately. However, they still should be allowed to disable Windows Defender and use whichever third-party spyware remover and antivirus they would like.
Microsoft did not make clear whether Windows Defender would offer an antivirus protection and when it would be released. Furtheremore, no-one ever seen Windows Defender in action, but it shouldn’t be worse than Microsoft AntiSpyware, which already pretends to be a number one spyware remover. It sounds like that the new product will search for viruses and will be available in the near future, long before Microsoft Vista.