Gregg Kreizer at InformationWeek:
Windows Defender, Microsoft’s free anti-spyware program that’s been in beta for more than a year, will shift into its second round of testing in the next two months, developers for the Redmond, Wash. company said recently in an online chat.
Defender is the new brand name for what Microsoft still calls Windows AntiSpyware, the add-on that’s been in Beta 1 since it debuted more than a year ago. Beta 1 only works in Windows XP.
Windows Defender Beta 2, on the other hand, will be available for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista, with additional editions for earlier Windows posted at some undisclosed future date. It will be included with both the client and server versions of Vista, Microsoft’s next operating system, which is to unveil late in 2006.
More on new features by following the link, but the prolonged beta is apparently due to the time required to integrate the original product that was acquired with GIANT Company Software in 2004 and made available as Beta 1. Also there are no plans to change Defender’s free status.