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Microsoft Denies Claria got Spyware Exception 275

Posted by timothy
from the it's-better-than-worse dept.
daria42 writes "Microsoft has denied its AntiSpyware application has given adware-maker Claria special treatment. The denial has been issued amid reports MS is looking to buy Claria, and is in response to security researchers' reports stating AntiSpyware had downgraded the threat level posed by Claria's adware products. The downgrade in threat level merely represented an effort to be "fair and consistent with how Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) handles similar software from other vendors," according to a statement published by Microsoft." As reader jfengel writes, though, "they neglected to mention what software that might be, nor did they publish the analysis."
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Microsoft Denies Claria got Spyware Exception

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2005 @08:43AM (#13031943)
    There's some really excellent analysis [edbott.com] on this by Ed Bott [edbott.com].

    Compare and contrast to the lies and misdirection spread (as is normal), by Microsoft's resident spin doctor Robert Scoble [weblogs.com]. See his Ballmer interview [msdn.com], aka, The Idiots Guide to Brownnosing, to see his true colors.

    Lots of Gator-bashing is rightly occurring all over the MSDNosphere, see here [msdn.com] for a funny example. Remember, even Microsoft employees [blogspot.com] (commenting anonymously, of course) hate this idea.

    I'm guessing that Microsoft will somehow integrate Claria's obnoxious 'personal marketing' tactics into Internet Explorer 7 or the new RSS functions to get a chunk of the targeted intarweb ad market which Adsense has completely sewn up for normal web pages. We should go and tell them [msdn.com] what we think about Claria and Gator, not to mention their general business ethics. Don't let Scoble's lies deceive you, and don't hold back.
  • A question of trust (Score:5, Informative)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Monday July 11, 2005 @08:45AM (#13031948)
    From TFA:
    "Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) continues to notify our users when Claria software is found on a computer, and it offers our users the option to remove the software if they desire."
    The issue here is not whether or not Windows Antispyware still detects Claria products...the issue is Microsoft's recommendation on said products. While it is true that users still have the option to remove Claria products if they so choose, the fact is that users had the option to keep Claria products on their system back when Microsoft was recommending removal. The insinuation that this change offers users more choice than previously available is tacitly false.

    The real issue here is Microsoft abusing their position of trust within the general computer user community. No, I'm not talking about people like us here...I'm talking about Ma and Pa Computer User...the ones who see a virus or spyware warning and panic. Many of these people rely upon the recommendations offered by the spyware detection/removal applications to decide on how best to manage their systems. By artificially upgrading Claria products from 'remove' to 'ignore', Microsoft is taking unfair advantage of these users' trust.

    Also from TFA:
    "All software is reviewed under the same objective criteria, detection policies, and analysis process," Microsoft claimed. "Absolutely no exceptions were made for Claria."
    As far as I'm aware, no other spyware removal application has promoted Claria products in this fashion. Until Microsoft publishes these 'objective criteria', and shows how Claria products managed to get upgraded from 'remove' to 'ignore' under them, we will have no choice but to assume more ulterior motives.
  • by wpiman (739077) * on Monday July 11, 2005 @08:57AM (#13032020)
    This simply reaffirms my belief in the running of multiple anti-spyware programs. If MS won't remove a certain piece of Spyware because of business/political reasons- adaware will get it- or Spybot will.

    PS. M$ sucks.

  • by cygnusx (193092) * on Monday July 11, 2005 @09:10AM (#13032073) Homepage
    Scoble did link [weblogs.com] to Ed Bott's take. If you think the Scobleizer is an echo chamber you've a lot to learn.

    And oh, it's really funny to see an anonymous coward carp at Scoble, who consistently has shown that his opinions are his own, whether it be about MSN/China or Microsoft/Gay Rights. Yes he works for Microsoft. Yes he blogs. If you can't deal with that, don't read him. But stop calling _him_ a brown-noser when we know nothing about you or your biases.
  • by slavemowgli (585321) on Monday July 11, 2005 @09:14AM (#13032099) Homepage
    It's not FOSS, but as far as I'm aware of (which admittedly isn't that far), there is no big company behind SpyBot S&D [safer-networking.org], at least. It also offers an option to immunise IE by blocking known bad webpages, which I think is an important option even when you don't run IE as your default browser - there are many apps that embed it. Generally, the problem of unjustified whitelisting of spyware can be solved by running more than one tool. It's a crutch, of course, but it works; what one vendor was bribed to gloss over, another vendor will pick up.
  • Re:Bah (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2005 @09:19AM (#13032130)
    Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. Antispyware isn't even on update; you have to actively search for it. It does not come up on Windows Update; its still in beta!
  • Re:Bah (Score:3, Informative)

    by djmurdoch (306849) on Monday July 11, 2005 @09:31AM (#13032200)
    The anti-spyware tool [microsoft.com] is different from the malicious software removal tool [microsoft.com]. The latter is run on every windows update. It targets viruses, worms, etc. rather than adware.
  • Yeah... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Svartalf (2997) on Monday July 11, 2005 @09:34AM (#13032218) Homepage
    When Spybot Search and Destroy did a much more thorough job on the machines I've worked on cleaning up (I don't generally use Windows, so I don't typically need S-A-D...)- I kinda quit using AdAware altogether. It just doesn't do the job the same way as other solutions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2005 @09:36AM (#13032223)
    From TFA, the criteria are posted:

    http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/s oftware/isv/analysis.mspx [microsoft.com]
  • by astrashe (7452) on Monday July 11, 2005 @09:39AM (#13032257) Journal
    I'll probably burn some karma here, but I'm a big fan of the MS anti-spyware product.

    There are really two issues. The first is the catalogue of what's spyware and what isn't. I don't know if MS's program is good at that, and the stories we're reading are sort of disturbing. I buy all of that.

    But the second issue concerns the product's ability to remove nasty stuff on your machine. And their anti-spyware app is very good at that.

    It's much better than spybot or ad-aware, in fact -- especially with the stuff that scatters hundreds of files and registry entries around your system and reinstalls itself after you try to clean it with another program.

    There's nothing that will prevent you from running another program to clear off the stuff that MS's product doesn't get rid of. So don't let this situation prevent you from running this software to get rid of other stuff. It's good at it, and it's free.

  • by kryptx (894550) on Monday July 11, 2005 @11:10AM (#13033055)
    Following the link to the original story on the status change leads to this page [blogspot.com] detailing the list of software that has been downgraded. Screenshots included for the doubtful.

    ...including certain WhenU adware programs, WebHancer and Ezula Toptext. So the Claria downgrade is quite likely part of a bigger picture regarding Microsoft's listing criteria for adware.
  • by makomk (752139) on Monday July 11, 2005 @12:35PM (#13033896) Journal
    Okay, I'm not sure if this is a troll, but...

    Gator is often installed automatically by other software/websites. The only way to get Opera is to install it yourself, implying that you actually want it.
    With Opera, the ads are obviously linked to a piece of software (the browser) and only appear in that software, in a well-defined area. With Gator, ads appear whenever you surf the Web with no immediately obvious link to any piece of software.

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