Windows anti-spyware to come free of charge

Ending speculation about whether it was shifting to a paid model, Microsoft said on Tuesday that it will provide customers with its new anti-spyware software for free.

The pledge, made by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates during his keynote speech kicking off the RSA Conference 2005 here, comes after the company had been testing its AntiSpyware application--technology it acquired with its purchase of security software maker Giant Software.

"Just as spyware is something that we have to nip down today, we have decided that all licensed Windows users should have that protection at no charge," Gates said. The initiative is part of Microsoft's efforts to strengthen security for home and business users of its Windows desktop software. Consumers are not always aware of the dangers of such threats as spyware, viruses and "phishing." A study published last October found that more than 80 percent of consumers had been infected by spyware.

News source: C|Net

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