Microsoft has now taken the “beta” label off Windows Defender with the release of a modestly updated build of the program. Changes are minimal – a new color scheme is about the only change you’ll notice.

If you’re not running Windows Defender for protection against adware/spyware, you should be. It should be considered a core component of Windows XP, as important as any other security mechanism in the operating system; it will be included by default in Windows Vista.

If you are running Windows Defender already, you don’t have to do anything special today, but be prepared to install an update when you are prompted by the Defender castle icon down by the clock in the next couple of weeks.

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