Some testers reported Wednesday that they had downloaded a new beta version of Microsoft AntiSpyware (version number 1.0.613). They also reported that Microsoft has extended the beta-expiration date for the product from July 31, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2005.
Microsoft officials confirmed that Microsoft has extended the beta period until the end of the year. Officials also acknowledged that the company has been testing on a selective basis the beta refresh number 1.0.613. (The current beta version number is 1.0.509.)
The pending refresh is not Beta 2, however. Microsoft executives said Beta 2 will be released "sometime later this year."
"We are going through with a refresh of the [Microsoft AntiSpyware] beta," said Paul Bryan, director of product management with Microsofts security technology and business unit. "We are testing this right now a bit, making sure that things are OK" before releasing to all testers.
Bryan said Wednesday that Microsoft plans to make the refresh available to all testers "in the next day or so."
Microsoft officially announced its plans to field a Microsoft-branded anti-spyware product (code-named "Atlanta") in January, following its purchase of Giant Software in December 2004. The beta supports Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
Microsoft released a publicly available Beta 1, which was not much more than a repackaging of Giants technology, on Jan. 6. On Feb. 16, Microsoft issued a beta refresh. Since then, the company has made weekly "signature updates" of the product available to interested testers.