Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Microsoft Antispyware Beta 1

The first beta of Microsoft’s long awaited anti-spyware tool is now available as a free download.
I downloaded it and had a quick play around. Here are my first impressions:


  • Very easy to use
  • Simple, attractive interface
  • Catered for both inexperienced and more competent users well, by explaining problems but also including specific details like infected files and registry keys
  • Lots of features, moreso than Ad-Aware and on a par with Spybot Search & Destroy
  • Fast


  • Interface is a little more complicated than it could be
  • False positives – I got three, one due to an incompatibility with SpywareBlaster, and the other two due to Shareaza which it thought to be parts of eDonkey and Grokster (which both bundle adware).
  • …not much else, really.

Based on these first impressions, I’d say that I’m very impressed with this beta release. I’m not about to replace Ad-Aware and Spybot with this, rather it’ll become a third weapon in my anti-spyware arsenal. Microsoft have a good product here, in my opinion.


  1. I found it was quite a nag, it tries to be a 24 hour service, which i really don’t need, i mean, do you really need an anti-spyware app monitoring your system all the time? It’s not like they bring your system down. So i had to spend more time than necessary unchecking all the boxes just so i can run it now and then.
    Typical microsoft problems really, it treats you as an idiot, like most of their software does. I swear, there should be an option on all microsoft’s software when you install them “are you intelligent or an idiot?” and the software will behave accordingly.

  2. Believe me Microsoft knows that most of their soft users are idiots, so why bother for the others 🙂

  3. I guess I’m going to come across as one of those idiots, but now that I have this thing on my system, how do I start it? I can’t find it anywhere in the menus or the Security Center.

  4. Microsoft Anti Spyware: Torn Apart

    You’ve all heard about Microsoft Anti Spyware Beta 1 by now. Scripting News gave it a minor mention, Neil’s World has a list of pros and cons, Asymptomatic just links it, and Peter Provost has some nice screenshots. Numerous others also cover it. …