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Windows Defender For XP Released

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The free Windows Defender is now available for download. Formerly Microsoft AntiSpyware, Defender beta 2 has a simpler user interface, a new spyware/malware detection engine, and can run without admistrator privileges to make running with more security even easier.

It comes in regular and 64-bit versions, and runs on Windows 2000 (SP4), Windows 2003 (SP1) and Windows XP (SP2).

Defender runs unbelievably fast. Initial system scan took four minutes 29 seconds, way faster than AntiSpyware. The new UI means it only takes a click or two to get anywhere. You can disable all the little hidden startup programs, the ones msconfig misses. You can terminate any currently running programs, networking programs or Winsock service providers, although you can’t terminate system services (which is probably a bit much for a program so many people will be using anyway).

Keep in mind that if you intend to get Windows OneCare in April, it will come with Defender. As far as free anti-spyware programs go, my favorite just got even better.

If you can’t understand the differences between Defender, OneCare Live, Windows Live Safety Center and other Microsoft security tools, this MS chart should clear things up, or give you a headache (click to enlarge):

(via Donna)

Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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Windows Defender For XP Released
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