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Microsoft needs to keep its antispyware free

In a previous article I summarized an assortment of free tools for combating spyware. Unfortunately, since that time, the problem has only worsened.

Instant poll:

Would you pay for a Microsoft antispyware product?

As a result, analysts are now estimating that the global antispyware market could grow to $400 million by 2008. That's more than quadrupling from what it is today, folks.

As reported in December, Microsoft

The week's top headlines

Microsoft releases antispyware beta

Tools spring up to harness Group Policy's potential

Microsoft commits to continuing MVP event

'Hygiene' software reflects changes in e-mail threats

New solutions for the zero hour

has acquired antispyware maker Giant Company Software Inc. With businesses' so dependent upon Microsoft products, I can only say that it's about time we see a concrete example of Redmond's sincerity in fighting this danger.

In a recent statement on the acquisition, Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the security business and technology unit at Microsoft, said, "Spyware is a serious and growing problem for PC users, and customers have made it clear that they want Microsoft to deliver effective solutions to protect against the threat."

Spyware is a serious problem? Customers want protection? Gee, Microsoft, ya think? Well, it's taken a lot of moaning and groaning, but at least the spyware problem is finally on Redmond's to-do list.

On Thursday, Microsoft released its antispyware beta to the public. You can download the beta here. Let's just hope that Microsoft is committed to keeping this product free after the beta period -- because customers shouldn't have to pay to plug Microsoft holes.

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