Microsoft officially releases Windows Defender

Five days after releasing the final version of Internet Explorer 7.0, Microsoft has struck again, this time with the first official release version of its free spyware removal application. Dubbed Windows Defender, the app was in beta testing for close to two years and is based on Giant AntiSpyware, a third-party spyware removal tool Microsoft purchased in late 2004. Windows Defender offers a variety of features in addition to standard spyware scanning and removal, including scheduling, real-time monitoring/protection, and automatic updates. Microsoft is only offering the software in English for Windows XP at the moment. However, the company intends to add multi-language support in the coming weeks and to bundle the app with Windows Vista when the new operating system is released next January.

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    • njsutorius
    • 13 years ago

    I have had one virus in my what.. 12 years of windows OS use.. Sure i got spyware here and there, but use no protection.. and ill tell you why because they are all annoying and really do nothing to help with their constant updates and annoying popups… and this is also why i will use vista, defender, and one care. and just so i could right this message i dled a virus/spyware checker and had nothing..

    • Ryu Connor
    • 13 years ago

    q[

    • Ryu Connor
    • 13 years ago

    q[< If MS would change its software to allow non-admin users to run their programs correctly all the time, malware would be much more limited in the damage that it could do to your system.<]q The issue isn't MS, it is developers. The programming guidelines for writing applications that work in Win32 under non-Admin and in particular Limited User Accounts are easily a decade old, if not older. Developers are as bad users. They operate in Admin accounts, they design their software (often needlessly) to require Admin priviledges or access. They often have no concept of what a LUA account entails or even what their software needs to do to adapt to that. Some developers even purposefully choose to force their customers into danger. A notable example is PunkBuster. Who has decided that stopping a cheater is more important than protecting the user. The only thing missing to put egg on their face is a remote exploit in a video game online component (a buffer overflow in the chat system is bound to happen at some point). MS can't force people follow their guidelines and they can't force developers to not be lazy. With a little work though the typical power user that visits this site can work around the niggles presented by most third party software and run under a limited user account with no issues. I do it every day and have done so for the past year now.

      • nerdrage
      • 13 years ago

      Interesting… thanks for the correction. Is this a problem for non-PB games as well?

    • alex666
    • 13 years ago

    I installed it today on my work computer and immediately removed it as it kept wanting to upgrade but then said there were no upgrades. Plus, it slowed down my system. No thanks.

    • NeXus 6
    • 13 years ago

    I never cared for the beta version. Ad Aware found stuff it didn’t. I currently use Ewido anti-spyware after trying various others. I find it to be better at finding bogus cookies/malware, and it does a great job at blocking pop-ups that get by IE’s pop-up blocker. Spyware Doctor would be my second choice if you want better protection.

    • d2brothe
    • 13 years ago

    Oh yea, I remember this program…I seem to recall that the first beta that came out was very good, easy to use, fairly efficient and accurate, it was my number one spyware scanner at one point…and then it just went downhill from there…go figure…microsoft’s “improvements”…I stopped using it sometime ago…I wonder how bad it is now

      • A_Pickle
      • 13 years ago

      This is ridiculous. Why does 90% of the geek world (yes, you’re in that demographic) have nothing better to do than mindlessly slam Microsoft with poor arguments?

      y{<"...and then it just went downhill from there...go figure...microsoft's "improvements"..."<}y "Go figure?" No, thanks, I wouldn't "go figure," given that Microsoft makes some of the best software around. Windows Defender was and still is my number one antispyware application, /[

        • SGT Lindy
        • 13 years ago

        I could not agree with you more.

        I dont see the reason for all of the hate. I like 95% of MS products. I think IE7 is great and defender is also great. With IE7, Avast, Defender and auto updates….I never get anything. My XP box never has any kind of malware problems. Since SP2 came out I have had NO popups.

        I have a Windows 2003 FTP/Web server sitting right on the internet (no firewall) and it only has autoupdates turned on with nothing else and its been running non-stop (except for re-boots from some updates) since September of 2003.

        I personally think that with Microsofts recent (last 2-3 years) focus on security…..that any malware/security problems on a Windows OS are user created.

          • d2brothe
          • 13 years ago

          I’ll give you some points, microsoft has improved they’re software as of late, and it is true, Microsoft windows is probably the best desktop computer operating system for most people and microsoft office is a very nice office suite, but you cannot tell me that they’re software is perfect. It still does have glaring security holes and stability issues, but the thing that irks me about microsoft is the entire company’s mentality, they feel as if they own your computer when you install windows on it. As for windows defender, I have not used the new one, so I should not judge that, but based on what I saw from the early betas to the later betas, it was not an improvement….Just IMHO…after the third reboot today…

          Oh and BTW…anyone who reads this forum has some nerd, geek, or teckie in them, so don’t flame me for that, besides, I’m damn proud to be called a nerd,

            • indeego
            • 13 years ago

            GPO’d it out yesterday /silent

            Amazing how in a few minutes this software just replaced our old antispyware solution. Not that we ever saw spyware at work, what with users running as users.

            Can’t wait to see the corp AV solution.

            /broken recordg{<.<}g

        • d2brothe
        • 13 years ago

        I have plenty of reasons, the first version was clear, and easy to use, the functions were well layed out, and it was very configurable. The later version of the beta I used (the last one) was much slower, (taking several hours to scan my 60 GB laptop HD), far more difficult to use (it took me a long time to figure out just what the hell I was doing), and less configurable. I don’t know what the new version is like, but I DO have reasons…I’m not entirely anti-microsoft, I see nothing wrong with IE7 as of yet, its a major imrovement, and much better lighter than firefox or others.

    • droopy1592
    • 13 years ago

    It’s a good program, but Microsoft should fix the ROOT of the problem.

      • barich
      • 13 years ago

      Which root do you mean? The operating system being insecure? They already have, it’s called Vista. Or do you mean the user (which is the biggest problem)? Should Microsoft kill all the people who don’t know how to properly use computers?

      If applications such as Kazaa were available for the Macintosh, plenty of uninformed users would install it on that platform as well. Linux might be more immune largely because it takes a lot more knowledge to even desire to use Linux (most people haven’t even heard of it). But as long as the OS lets the user install an application that they want to install (and I would never want an OS that didn’t) there is going to be a malware problem.

        • d2brothe
        • 13 years ago

        Microsoft windows and other microsoft programs have security flaws at they’re core…you can’t deny that, of course, mac and linux also likely have similar flaws, but microsoft’s seems to be particularily glaring, vista has yet to be seen, but given its size, its almost guaranteed to have major holes as well…to say that bugs are the fault of the user is just stupid…

          • A_Pickle
          • 13 years ago

          y{<"...microsoft's seems to be particularily glaring..."<}y Apple and Linux have, /[

            • d2brothe
            • 13 years ago

            Neither do I, I recognize that they’re windows is probably the best desktop PC operating system around for most users anyway (me included…I like my games :D), but I also realize they have glaring holes…they may have 97% of the desktop market, but think of the server market, where stability and security are paramount, and user interfaces come second, go figure linux and unix have the upper hand there…

            As for users and security, while I admit, they may hold some of the blame, but there are still security holds, (bugs if you will), which are in the software, and that is one way malicious code can get in, its certainly not microsoft, but they’re hands aren’t anywhere near clean…

        • bthylafh
        • 13 years ago

        q[

          • d2brothe
          • 13 years ago

          Why would they do that when they can simply steal more of they’re money for tech support and new versions of equally insecure products…honestly…some users are quite useless, but even moderately experienced users get hit, infact, I’d say they get hit more because they are willing to actually do things, users who know nothing, don’t really do much onthe computer.

            • barich
            • 13 years ago

            I have seriously tried to get infected with a virus/spyware. I installed Windows XP into a Virtual PC 2004 virtual machine, turned on automatic updates, and tried to find a web site that would install software without my permission. I couldn’t, despite much effort.

            Then, I installed Avast Home Edition and Windows Defender (Beta 2). I downloaded and attempted to install Kazaa. Between both programs, the install failed, Windows Defender asked to reboot, and upon reboot the system was clean.

            Realistically, the only way to get infected with malware on Windows is to both not have any antivirus or antispyware protection installed, despite the fact that adequate software is available for free and Windows nags you with Security Center if you don’t have it, and to either not have automatic updates turned on or to purposely download and install malicious software such as Kazaa.

            I really don’t see what else MS can do, besides UAC in Vista which attempts to at least make the user think about what they’re doing.

            • Nullvoid
            • 13 years ago

            there are rather more malicious things out there than kazaa 😮

            • 2_tyma
            • 13 years ago

            i think the worst spyware application is
            LOP
            that piece of **** (fecal matter word)was so horrible, the only way to get it removed properly is to reformat and delete your partition

            • Gandhi
            • 13 years ago

            My XP rig has been infected twice in the last 3 months. I run Win Defender, AVG Antivirus, Spybot, Lavasoft Antispyware, etc. Still got infected.

            • soccergenius
            • 13 years ago

            y[

            • barich
            • 13 years ago

            What do you do with your computer that you get infected? It doesn’t just happen by itself. Are you purposely installing software that contains malware? Are you suffering from an IE vulnerability because you are not fully patched?

            A fully patched Windows is no easier to compromise than a fully patched Linux or OS X. The only difference is the relative lack of malware available for the latter platforms. This is an advantage of those platforms, but it’s not an inherent one. It could change at any time.

            • Gandhi
            • 13 years ago

            Strangely enough, both infections were due to watching video through Firefox. First was malware through codec, and second was Java trojan infecting the Java cache.

            I have Win XP firewall on, and am behind a router.

            • A_Pickle
            • 13 years ago

            Strange, my Windows XP rigs (plural, I use this security combination on all of my computers based on it’s effectiveness) are malware-free and I run AVG Free Edition, Windows Defender, ZoneAlarm and CCleaner.

            I didn’t see you mention a firewall there, maybe that’s your problem. Or maybe you use internet explorer. Or perhaps your computing habits are less than secure (and I dunno about that, I go to Seriall all the time).

            • MadManOriginal
            • 13 years ago

            It has to be a combination of things you do or programs you run on your computer and vulnerabilities, not just the vulnerabilties themself. In the last 5-6 years of having broadband I was infected by a virus once which was entirely my own fault for running an .exe I shouldn’t have. Until 6 months ago I didn’t even use a software firewall, and I only update ‘occasionally’ like once every few months – automatic updates telling me when to update annoy me. My only security was a router, I wonder if that’s the reason I’ve never had an infection problem.

        • Gandhi
        • 13 years ago

        y[http://gottsilla.net/poisoned.php<]§

          • barich
          • 13 years ago

          Does that include bundled spyware? Then it’s nothing like Kazaa. I didn’t mean file sharing programs in general. There are plenty for Windows, such as eMule and Limewire, that do not include spyware.

          The point is that if someone made the effort to write spyware for the Mac, users would unknowingly download programs that included it, just as they do on Windows.

        • nerdrage
        • 13 years ago

        I think that when droopy1592 said y[<"ROOT of the problem"<]y, he meant that almost all Windows users run as an admininstrator (aka root) all the time, which means that any malware will also have admininstrator priviledges which it can exploit on your entire system. If MS would change its software to allow non-admin users to run their programs correctly all the time, malware would be much more limited in the damage that it could do to your system.

      • A_Pickle
      • 13 years ago

      y{<"It's a good program, but Microsoft should fix the ROOT of the problem."<}y Malware coders? Yeah, you walked right into that one. It's funny how people "forget" about blaming the people who actually make those programs, choosing to instead direct their anger towards Microsoft.

      • My Johnson
      • 13 years ago

      [q]It’s a good program, but Microsoft should fix the ROOT of the problem.[/q]

      Vista and XP-64 have a driver model that addresses that problem. Even though I had 4 shots of dark rum on an empty stomach, I refrain from the senseless name calling I usually abuse at these times. 😀

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