“Microsoft, whose Windows operating system has been plagued by viruses, spyware and other security problems in recent years, last week began rolling out some free software to help users cope with those threats. The software giant introduced a ‘beta,’ or preliminary, version of a free product designed to block, detect and remove spyware. A free antivirus program is planned for later release,” Walt Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.
“Unfortunately, the company’s first free security program has some serious flaws and lapses. I’ve been testing Microsoft’s antispyware software, called simply Microsoft AntiSpyware, and I can’t recommend it, in its present form, over the leading third-party antispyware program I have favored, Webroot’s Spy Sweeper,” Mossberg reports.
“Microsoft AntiSpyware does nothing at all to protect users of the rival Firefox Web browser from home- and search-page hijacking. It detects and corrects such hijacking only in its own Internet Explorer Web browser. The company says it is trying to focus on things that affect “the largest number of customers,” and it notes that the vast majority of users rely on IE. But this… smacks of favoritism toward Microsoft products… It’s good that Microsoft is finally offering users tools to protect their Windows computers. But it’s going to have to do much better, and it’s going to have to avoid the perception that it’s using security as a tool to promote or favor its own products,” Mossberg reports.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Was there some secret deal between the United States DOJ and Microsoft to resolve the anti trust case that stipulated that Microsoft would do absolutely nothing or just generally screw up for a specified period of time until competitors could balance things out a bit? Or is Microsoft just slowly collapsing from its own weight right before our eyes? Are you a Windows-only user? Get a Mac, it’s much better. More info on how to add a safe, secure, powerful, and fun Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal here.
MacDailyNews Note: Walt Mossberg is the author and creator of the weekly Personal Technology column in The Wall Street Journal, which has appeared every Thursday since 1991. Newsweek magazine calls Mr. Mossberg “the most powerful arbiter of consumer tastes in the computer world today.” Time magazine calls him “the most influential computer journalist.” And Rolling Stone calls him “the most powerful columnist in technology.” The Washington Post declared Mr. Mossberg “one of the most powerful men in the high-tech world” and “a one-man media empire whose prose can launch a new product.” And the New York Times calls him a “protean critic of the new economy’s tools and toys.” Mr. Mossberg was awarded the 1999 Loeb award for Commentary, the only technology writer to be so honored. For seven years in a row, 1995-2001, he was named as the most influential journalist writing about computers, in the annual ranking published by Technology Marketing magazine.
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