It was only a matter of time, but Microsoft's concerted mobilization against hackers has started to pay dividends. Today, that dividend manifested itself in the form of an anti-spyware program, aptly named Microsoft AntiSpyware. The program (currently in its first Beta) is available for free from Microsoft's Web site.
Windows Users have a number of choices to battle spyware today. They come in free and paid flavors from a number of companies and I bet these companies are not so sanguine about this new release from Microsoft.
Installing and configuring the program was a breeze and then I had it run a quick scan. It identified one low-risk program (with a nice summary) and gave me a few options to deal with it. For the time being I configured it to run a deep scan every mid-night and check for new updates. Exiting the program, it silently went into an icon state, nestling itself with the rest of the resident programs in the Tray area.
For me, the Microsoft AntiSpyware program is too new to have a definitive opinion about, but my first impression was a positive one. One more thing, the program also contains a tool to wipe clean many hidden areas that record user's activity and whereabouts, including Internet Explorer history, visited links, and recently opened documents by other program. It's a great tool for a paranoid like me.
You can download Microsoft AntiSpyware from here.