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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Windows Releases Defender Beta 2

Microsoft finally released on Monday the second beta of Windows Defender, formerly known as Windows AntiSpyware.

Beta 2 incorporates a redesigned user interface and new threat level system to inform users of malware. According to Microsoft, the updated version is less intrusive and easier to use.

Windows Defender was officially named in November, and was designed to emphasize on the fact the product isn't just about spyware. The tool came from Microsoft's acquisition of GIANT Software. The Redmond company has bulked up Defender Beta 2 with an improved detection engine and is integrating the technology directly into Windows Vistato the discontent of rival PC makers.

Windows Defender Beta 2 boasts improved "Real Time Protection" that monitors critical areas of the operating system for any changes. Accessibility improvements have also been made, along with support added for 64-bit systems. German and Japanese versions of the software are forthcoming, Microsoft said.

Alongside the branding change, Microsoft's anti-malware engine has been moved to a Windows service and signatures will be delivered through Windows Update. Starting with Beta 2, "Definition Updates" will be listed as available downloads on the site.

Windows Defender Beta 2 is available for download here.

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