The Microsoft Anti-Malware Engineering Team has started a blog. From their site...
We're the team responsible for building Microsoft's antivirus and anti-spyware technology (along with anti-rootkit, anti-bot, and other stuff).
These guys created the free Windows Anti-Spyware application which I've been using since it came available back in January on my home PC's. I've also been putting it on friends and after-hours client PC's...to date no problems with spyware crap.
This team recently announced that Windows Anti-Spyware has just been renamed Windows Defender and is undergoing mods to use the Windows Update technology for updates. It and Microsoft's anti-virus software will be part of Windows Vista and will also be free for Windows XP users.
Now that's very interesting news...and has to give some 3rd party companies pause. You mean next year I could switch all my network PC's over to Microsoft's anti-virus and anti-malware products for free?? And their updates will be delivered automatically over the regular old Windows Update technology? If that is in fact the case I'm smiling! I just budgeted $3500 for anti-spyware and anti-virus licensing for next year. For 140 PC's that's really not much, but I'd love to have that money be used for something else.
So kudos to Microsoft for what appears to be yet another positive upcoming change. I know what you're thinking ... dude, switching your malware apps over to Microsoft is putting all your eggs in one basket. Obviously we wouldn't make the transition without through testing. But, given my experience with MS Anti-spyware I've betting the final malware products will be solid.
This team also just released the Windows Live Safety Center (beta). From the site...
Windows Live Safety Center is a new, free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC.
* Check for and remove viruses
* Learn about threats
* Improve your PC's performance
* Get rid of junk on your hard disk
I gave it a whirl on the home PC. All is well except for my disk needs a major defrag. Which I already knew. Problem is I don't have enough free space to defrag!! :-(
Yep, it's about time Microsoft took some proactive measures to help with malware. Some are claiming it's too late coming and consumer confidence in Windows is shot. Guess we'll find out over the next couple years.