Microsoft: Were Not Soft On Spyware

    July 11, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Redmond responds to customer complaints about alleged preferential treatment of potential takeover target, adware maker Claria.

Microsoft says its change in the default recommendation for Claria products detected by its AntiSpyware beta product is “fair and consistent with how Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) handles similar software from other vendors.”

Claria submitted a request to Microsoft in January requesting its products be reevaluated. That request was honored by the end of March. Though Microsoft says its AntiSpyware tool will still remove Claria products it detects, the software now recommends Claria products be ignored instead of quarantined.

Sunbelt Software president Alex Eckelberry confirmed Microsoft’s contentions as to the detection and removal functions of the AntiSpyware product, but questions why the default action was changed to “ignore” instead of the previously recommended “quarantine,” or even “remove.”

“The heart of the problem is philosophy. Why is Claria any different than Hotbar (which is still listed a default action of “Quarantine”). And why is Claria being put into an “Ignore” status in the first place?” asks Mr. Eckelberry.

Microsoft hasn’t answered those questions, but the company has reaffirmed its commitment to spyware protection in its letter to consumers on the Claria issue. “All software is reviewed under the same objective criteria, detection policies, and analysis process. Absolutely no exceptions were made for Claria,” Microsoft said in the letter.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.