Microsoft continues to attack security issues on the Windows platform with impressive vigor.
This week Microsoft released Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware, a program that cleans out existing adware/spyware and then runs continuously, monitoring to prevent new infestations. This is good stuff! Many reviewers are coming away impressed with its performance compared to stalwarts like AdAware and Spybot, and Microsoft’s program is free for the next seven months. (Microsoft hasn’t decided what to do with it after that. Competitors and regulators would cry foul if Microsoft gave it away for free, but a lot of people think the problems ought to be Microsoft’s responsibility.) Here’s a thorough description from Paul Thurrott.
Microsoft also released a tool to remove certain kinds of malicious software. It will be run automatically through Windows Update, I think, but you can also run it manually from this page. It’s not a substitute for an antivirus or an antispyware program, just one more way to see if any bad things have gotten onto your system.