Microsoft today announced that it will beef up Windows security after buying Giant Company Software, a developer of anti-spyware and internet security offerings.
The Redmond firm will use intellectual property and technology from the acquisition to develop tools that will give "near-term relief" to Windows users by enhancing defences against spyware and other deceptive software.
This relief will come in the form of a beta version of a spyware protection, detection and removal tool, based on the Giant AntiSpyware product, which will ship "within one month" for users of Windows 2000 and later versions.
The forthcoming beta will scan a PC to locate spyware and other malware threats, and enable customers to remove them.
According to Microsoft, the tool will also be configurable to block known spyware and other unwanted software from being installed on the computer.
"Spyware is an industry-wide challenge, and it is encouraging to see Microsoft take strong action to protect Windows users," said Chris Christiansen, vice president of security products and services at analyst IDC.
"This announcement, and the release of the free beta, will help consumers regain control over their PCs."
Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Security Business and Technology Unit, added: "Spyware is a serious and growing problem for PC users, and customers have made it clear that they want Microsoft to deliver effective solutions to protect against the threat."
Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. Details of the Microsoft solution beyond the planned beta, including product plans, pricing and a timeline for delivery, are not yet available.
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