Microsoft Acquires Anti-Spyware Leader GIANT Company

  • Thread starter Jason J. Joyce [MSFT]
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Jason J. Joyce [MSFT]

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2004/dec04/12-16GIANTPR.asp

Microsoft Acquires Anti-Spyware Leader GIANT Company

New Offerings Will Help Customers Keep Spyware and Other Deceptive Software
Off Their Computers

REDMOND, Wash. -- Dec. 16, 2004 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced that it
has acquired GIANT Company Software Inc., a provider of top-rated
anti-spyware and Internet security products. Microsoft will use intellectual
property and technology assets from the acquisition to provide Microsoft®
Windows® customers with new tools to help protect them from the threat of
spyware and other deceptive software. In addition, key personnel from GIANT
Company will be joining Microsoft's security efforts.

"Spyware is a serious and growing problem for PC users, and customers have
made it clear that they want Microsoft to deliver effective solutions to
protect against the threat," said Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the
Security Business and Technology Unit at Microsoft. "Through this
acquisition we're excited to be able to provide near-term relief to Windows
customers by offering new technology to help keep spyware and other
deceptive software off their PCs."

Microsoft plans to make available to Windows customers a beta version of a
spyware protection, detection and removal tool, based on the GIANT
AntiSpyware product, within one month. The upcoming beta will scan a
customer's PC to locate spyware and other deceptive software threats and
enable customers to remove them. The tool will be configurable to block
known spyware and other unwanted software from being installed on the
computer. It will be available for Microsoft Windows 2000 and later
versions.

Spyware is an emerging breed of malicious software that can range from
unwanted pop-up ads to unseen programs that record keystrokes or take over a
person's PC. Spyware and other unwanted software can slow PC performance,
change a computer's configuration, and steal passwords and personal
information. A November 2004 IDC study estimated that 67 percent of consumer
PCs are infected with some form of spyware.

"Spyware is an industrywide challenge, and it is encouraging to see
Microsoft take strong action to protect Windows users," said Chris
Christiansen, vice president of security products and services program at
IDC. "This announcement and the release of the free beta will help consumers
regain control over their PCs."

"Microsoft's investment in GIANT Company means Windows customers will
benefit from our anti-spyware technology, which puts the control of software
back into the hands of users where it belongs," said Ron Franczyk,
co-founder and president of technology at GIANT Company. "The GIANT solution
uses extensive spyware-signature databases, real-time security agents and an
innovative 'neighborhood watch' for spyware to protect customers from the
threat of spyware and other deceptive software."

Terms of the acquisition were not announced. Details of the Microsoft
solution beyond the planned beta, including product plans, pricing and a
timeline for delivery, are not yet available. The anti-spyware technology
will complement the enhanced security features available in Windows XP
Service Pack 2 to provide a higher level of protection for Web browsing and
other Internet computing activities. Microsoft strongly recommends that
customers use an anti-spyware solution in addition to following the three
simple steps outlined at http://www.microsoft.com/protect: Use an Internet
firewall on all PCs, update all PCs regularly with the latest security
updates, and use up-to-date antivirus software.

More information about Microsoft and its efforts to address computer
security and provide customers with guidance about spyware and information
about anti-spyware solutions is available at
http://www.microsoft.com/spyware.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
their full potential.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

GIANT Company is a trademark of GIANT Company Software Inc. in the United
States and/or other countries.

GIANT Company Software Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
trademarks of their respective owners.
 
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