Microsoft released Windows Defender (formerly Microsoft Antispyware, hence the Beta 2) yesterday, making it available as a free download and I just installed it. Apparently existing Antispyware users will be notified about the update, but I hadn’t received anything before I installed Defender. Fortunately it appears to have upgraded or removed Antispyware for me. Here’s Microsoft’s description of the software:
Windows Defender (Beta 2) is a free program that helps you stay productive by protecting your computer against pop-ups, slow performance and security threats caused by spyware and other potentially unwanted software.
Some of the main changes/features include a redesigned interface, improved detection and removal, support for 64 bit platforms, and the most important one of all: Windows Defender can be run by all users on a computer, with or without administrative privileges.
Some other things I noticed:
- Checking for updates seemed to take a long time, and the UI for it is ugly compared to Antispyware.
- The red and yellow target icon has been replaced by a grey, plain looking brick wall. The icon doesn’t appear to stay in the status bar anymore.
- The logo is using the new Vista graphic for Windows (this makes it the first application I have installed that uses the graphic).
- There’s a lot of wasted whitespace on the “Home” screen.
- Software Explorer is a new feature that lets you manage software permissions. Also shows you a bunch of information about each program.
- I need to test it out a little more, but so far it seems to use more memory than Antispyware.
If you want to give it a try, you can download it from Microsoft.
Read: Windows Defender