New Tool

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2005-01-10 Print this article Print

The new tool, code-named Titan, is based on technology from the GeCAD acquisition and will be a regular download through Windows Update and Automatic Updates. It will be a static threat remover, not a real-time protector against threats infecting the system. For this reason, its anything but a threat to anti-virus products, and pretty low in the pecking order of security tools. You only need a removal tool if all of your other systems have failed, and most anti-virus products will have a capability to remove most of these same threats.

The new MS AntiSpyware product is another matter. The market for anti-spyware software is still small enough, and the problem (as conventional wisdom would have it) so big that Microsoft actually released a product. The initial quickie reviews are generally positive (more from me tomorrow).

Exactly how big the spyware/adware problem is is a debatable subject. Some products find huge numbers of threats on systems, but most of them are cookies, all of which are taken to be evil by some people. The Microsoft product doesnt appear to complain about cookies.

But nobody would be happier at a turnaround in the spyware situation than Microsofts Windows OEMs, who must seethe at all of the money they spend on support for users who mess up their computers with spyware. This is a group that Microsoft must keep happy.

Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog. More from Larry Seltzer

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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