As part of its consumer security push, Microsoft is including a free Web-based anti-virus scanning utility with the Windows Live service.
Microsoft has fitted an anti-virus and PC clean-up utility into the new Windows Live initiative as part of a larger plan to shuttle customers to its Internet security offerings.
A beta version of the new Safety Center
lets customers run free Web-based computer scans to detect and remove viruses and other known malware.
The Safety Center, which currently works only on Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer browser, uses an ActiveX Control to scan for and remove viruses. It is also capable of detecting vulnerabilities on Internet connections.
To read more about Microsofts A1 consumer security service, click here.
The service, which is geared towards consumers, also features two PC maintenance toolsClean Up and Tune Upto handle tasks like the deletion of "junk" from a machine or the defragmenting of a hard disk to improve PC performance.
The Safety Center also serves as a Web portal to distribute security-related information and to keep users updated about viruses and other malware attacks.
Microsoft is including anti-spyware software in Windows Vista. Read more here.
The addition of the free scanner, which is different from the regularly updated Malicious Software Removal Tool,
comes ahead of Microsofts big push into the consumer and enterprise security markets.
For advice on how to secure your network and applications, as well as the latest security news, visit Ziff Davis Internets Security IT Hub.
The software maker is currently testing Windows OneCare, a bundled service for virus scanning, firewall protection, data backup and PC cleanup tools. The Windows OneCare service will be sold as a subscription service within the Windows Live environment.
Microsoft has also announced plans to ship an enterprise-class anti-spyware product featuring technology to thwart viruses, worms and kernel rootkits.
The offering, called Microsoft Client Protection, will go into limited beta testing before the end of this year with a full rollout expected in 2006.
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