Microsoft late last week released a second "refresh" of the first Windows AntiSpyware beta. This refresh is not to be confused with the official second beta version, which is still due sometime later this year, according to a Microsoft representative. Also, there is still no word on when a final version of the product is due.
Microsoft released the first Windows AntiSpyware beta on Jan. 6, a month after it announced the acquisition of Giant Software, which specialized in spyware-fighting tools. A first refresh of the beta came on Feb. 16. The second beta refresh contains several enhancements to the detection and removal capabilities, according to Microsoft. Also, the Windows AntiSpyware beta has been extended to Dec. 31.
Windows AntiSpyware is only part of Microsoft's desktop security play. The company has also announced a subscription service, dubbed Windows OneCare, that will include spyware as well as virus protection and a new firewall. A beta test of that service should be available soon.
Windows AntiSpyware beta users will receive a software update. The second beta refresh is also available for download. The final version, when it is released, will be available at no cost, Microsoft hs said.
About 19 million people have downloaded the Windows AntiSpyware beta, according to Microsoft.