Report: Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta To Debut Thursday

Last month, Microsoft acquired New York-based Giant Company Software and its anti-spyware technology, and immediately said it would push out a beta of its first spyware defense in January.

According to Neowin, the beta, internally dubbed "Atlanta" has been distributed within Microsoft, and will be released as either a public beta or a private, external beta Thursday. In an internal memo, Microsoft called Atlanta "new, fresh, and all good," reported Neowin.

Some analysts have theorized that Microsoft's acquisition of Giant, and its release of anti-spyware software, was driven by increased interest in browsers that compete with its Internet Explorer.

"[Microsoft] has to protect IE now, since any anti-spyware improvements to IE won't show until Windows XP SP3 is released, which won't be until the second half of 2005," said Gartner analyst John Pescatore in an interview last month.

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"Firefox is safer than IE when it comes to spyware," Pescatore added then, referring to the prime competitor to IE.

Neowin has posted several screenshots of what it says is the Microsoft AntiSpyware product.