Windows Antispyware first impressions

by Jack Richins

Shows promise. Thought it was fairly easy to use, with a few exceptions:

  1. It found a false positive – tapicfg.exe is not necessarily spyware on windows 2003 server! Http://www.processlibrary.com does list it as spyware, to be fair to WAS (windows anti-spyware), but checking the CDs, W2K3 includes a legitimate file called tapicfg.exe in system32, while XP and earlier versions of windows do not (didn’t check Windows 2000 Server – might just be a server only service).
  2. It’s pop-ups went flying up the screen rather than sitting still so it was impossible for me to read them. I’m sure this is a bug – I can’t image why you would want this behavior. And it also might have something to do with my Multi-mon setup. But it at least is a sign that this is in fact a beta and not ready for prime-time.

But other than that, I liked it. Explainations were very clear and understandable. It will detect things on the fly like a virus scanner and it will notify "SpyNet" to help catch new spyware faster, at least in theory. Also lets users submit a query about a program/activex control that you think is suspect to SpyNet so they can investigate it. Or a more general report. Could be useful, as long as someone doesn’t think to spam them.

The real test will be if it’s good enough to just sit there and run and actually block spyware on a real users machine, meaning one who isn’t a developer/it semi-pro. Any volunteers?

Also, I saw signs that this may be permenantly free. Microsoft lets you use their "Windows Validator" control – which they’ve only done so far with free programs like PhotoStory3.

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