TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide


TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide
TechTalk & Personal Computing Guide

Microsoft's responsibility for spyware

cdesai12 Goldie

Joined: 18 September 2004
Posts: 1900

Posted: 11 February 2005 at 9:15am | IP Logged
What's Microsoft's responsibility for

Several readers sent in criticisms of Microsoft for causing the virus/malware problem in the first place. In this view, the Redmond company started a "Trustworthy Computing Initiative" about five years too late and even then didn't complete its mission. Others question Microsoft's actions regarding its purchase of Giant AntiSpyware, as expressed by Jim Corsa:

  • "I haven't read anyone exposing Microsoft's conflicts of interest in buying/developing its own antispyware and antivirus software. Why are pundits praising the [Microsoft] AntiSpyware beta and debating whether Microsoft will sell it, instead of pointing out that antispyware wouldn't be so critical if Windows and IE were designed and coded properly?

    "If Microsoft is going to make money selling antispyware and antivirus products, then where is the incentive to fix Windows? ...

    "It appears Microsoft has made matters worse by removing the best antispyware from the market, or at least from users of older Microsoft operating systems. (Another attempt to kill older versions of Windows?)

    "I clicked on the Giant AntiSpyware and arrived at a page which gives the impression I can download Giant AntiSpyware 1.0. However, after checking the Microsoft AntiSpyware , I'm suspicious, because it appears Microsoft is abandoning Windows versions before 2000 and has stopped the sale of Giant AntiSpyware licenses.

    "The Microsoft page contains these paragraphs. The first paragraph addresses Windows versions Giant covers and Microsoft does not. The second paragraph seems to say that anything from Giant is a dead end:

    • Support for Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows NT (with Service Pack 3, 4, or 6a) operating systems. GIANT AntiSpyware supports these operating systems, in addition to Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server(tm) 2003. The Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) software supports only Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.

      Microsoft will continue to provide the same level of support to current subscribers of GIANT AntiSpyware software as was offered by GIANT Company Software prior to its acquisition by Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft, however, will no longer sell new licenses, subscriptions, or subscription renewals for GIANT Company Software products, including GIANT AntiSpyware.

    "It's the 'however' that caught my eye. Does this mean folks with old hardware running Windows 98SE cannot get the best antispyware? Or is it still available?"
It appears Microsoft has shut down most or all of the routes by which consumers could download and register Giant AntiSpyware, as opposed to the Microsoft AntiSpyware beta. The download link mentioned above, involving a product page at (a former Giant Software Company sales affiliate) no longer works. If any reader knows a legitimate way to download and register a supported version of the genuine Giant AntiSpyware, let me know. I personally believe it's been killed dead.

Numerous readers, while criticizing Microsoft for weak code, wrote to support the growing movement to the new, free browser as a safer alternative to Internet Explorer. Many rogue programs install themselves silently, track users' keystrokes, and do other nasty things using IE's "feature." This is one particular problem that Firefox is relatively immune to. (Firefox supports extensions but not BHOs.)

HUMM IF-Dazzler

Joined: 06 November 2004
Posts: 2927

Posted: 11 February 2005 at 9:34pm | IP Logged
Good info..thanks!Smile
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