Superhero name for Microsoft anti-spyware program

What's in a name? For Microsoft, there's an added sense of confidence in its abilities to ward off spyware from users' PCs.

The Redmond, Wash.,-based company announced last week via weblog that the newest version of its anti-spyware program will be called Windows Defender. Formerly called Windows AntiSpyware, the program has been in beta for months, a company spokesperson said this week.

"We believe the Windows Defender name allows us to differentiate our functionality and is more suggestive of the protection offered to our customers against spyware and other potentially unwanted software," the spokesperson said. "It describes the functionality of our anti-spyware features in a more positive way."

The program will be packaged as part of Windows Vista, said Jason Garms, Microsoft group program manager, on his blog last Friday. It will also be available for users of Windows XP via update.

Garms said the new product will be more that just a new moniker for Windows users. It will help deflect rootkits, keystroke loggers and other forms of unwanted software.

"The engine is now moved to a system service, and signatures are delivered over Windows Update," he said in his blog. "The detection mechanisms have also been radically improved by applying to spyware threats all the great detection technology we use in our antivirus engine."

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