Microsoft Buys Antispyware Firm, Inks Pact With Autodesk

With the Giant acquisition, terms of which weren't disclosed, Microsoft picks up the company's personnel and products, notably its antispyware offering. Future product plans weren't disclosed.

Microsoft said it plans to release a Windows antispyware beta within the next few weeks that will allow users to locate spyware and other threats and remove them from their PC. The beta, which will run on Windows 2000, is a natural complement to the security-focused Windows XP Service Pack 2, according to the Microsoft.

The acquisition is no surprise. In April, Microsoft security executives said publicly that the company was considering adding antispyware to Windows. The Redmond, Wash., software giant also has said it plans to release an antivirus offering, but it didn't specify a timetable.

The cross-licensing pact with San Rafael, Calif.-based AutoDesk, meanwhile, will enable both software companies to exchange and implement their respective technologies, including data management, collaboration, design data management, digital effects, digital rights management, project management, CAD and location-based services, Microsoft said. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.

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Microsoft also has cross-licensing pacts with Cisco Systems, Siemens and SAP. Over the past two years, Microsoft has made significant efforts to build up its portfolio of patents and make it easier for ISV partners to license its technologies.