Hi, I'm Sterling Reasor, a program manager for the current Windows AntiSpyware beta and forth-coming Windows Defender.
A few days ago we posted an update to the Windows AntiSpyware beta and yesterday, we turned on the auto-updater code to automatically update existing users to this updated beta. For the techies, this update is build 1.0.701. Before you get too excited, there is only one change in this beta update from the previous beta. This updates the expiration date to July 31, 2006. We're doing this because as most current users know the beta expires on December 31, 2005. We're releasing this update to ensure that users don't experience any lapse in protection by having the beta expire on them.
Also, for those of you wondering, yes, after you update your signatures, the Windows AntiSpyware beta will be able to detect and remove the rootkit that was installed by the Sony DRM software. I also want to thank those customers who are giving us feedback on Beta 1 through the community newsgroups. We hear your feedback and are incorporating it into the development of Windows Defender Beta 2, which we expect in a couple of months. Right now our biggest priority is getting Windows Vista out the door. As mentioned previously, you will also be able to see an early preview of Windows Defender Beta 2 in an upcoming Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of Windows Vista.
For those who are now saying, "but wait - Windows AntiSpyware didn't notify me that a new version is available!" - don't worry, existing Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) customers will get that notification over the next few days. If you want to grab your copy right now, you can download the latest beta refresh manually.
The question has been raised by Ed Foster, the Gripe editor for Infoworld about "spyware" provider who are given a soft touch by anti spyware vendors.
Would you have a look at his comment here http://weblog.infoworld.com/foster/2005/12/05.html#a336 and tell us your position with Microsoft Anti-Spyware?