Beta Microsoft Anti-Spyware Nabs Norton

Microsoft last week unveiled a new beta of its long-simmering Windows Anti-Spyware package, marking the company’s first major foray into computer security technology intended for end users. For years, Microsoft has been heaped with criticism for the seemingly unending barrage of privacy and security issues exposed in its Windows and application products, yet the software giant left the work of developing end-user security solutions largely to third parties, focusing instead on closing holes, issuing patches, and releasing updates to its own products. Now Microsoft is aiming to work both sides of the fence, developing a security tool intended for everyday computer users while continuing to improve the security of its product offerings. Many security-conscious Windows users flocked to the Anti-Spyware beta, eager to see what Microsoft’s own security product might offer compared to third-party applications.

However, some early testers of Microsoft Anti-Spyware were in for a surprise as the product identified installations of Norton AntiVirus as a password-stealing Trojan horse program. If users went along with Windows Anti-Spyware’s recommendation and removed the “infection,” Windows Anti-Spyware would happily cripple Norton AntiVirus on the computer, a problem which could apparently only be corrected via manual registry edits and re-installation of the Symantec software.

For its part, Microsoft clearly labels the current release of Windows Anti-Spyware as a beta release suitable only for feedback and testing purposes: Microsoft does not warrant the software to be free of major problems, warns users against installing it on critical systems, and does not provide technical support for Windows Anti-Spyware. (Although informal discussion via newsgroups is available.) Microsoft also quickly updated its definition sets to eliminate false identification of Norton AntiVirus as a Trojan: users with Windows Anti-Spyware installed are urged to choose File > Check for Updates to make sure they have the latest definitions.

Of course, the snafu had some sectors of the Internet cheering for a Microsoft product which “finally did something right.” In recent years Norton AntiVirus has developed a reputation for consuming inordinate amounts of CPU and processing power, sapping performance from systems it allegedly protecting. Many technical users recommend (sometimes free) alternative security products as better-performing alternatives to Norton AntiVirus.


Third-party call recording apps no longer work with Android 9.0 Pie

There is a lot to love about Android 9.0 Pie. But as users update their phones, they noticed an annoying new issue: Google removed a workaround an Android 9.0 Pie that developers used to power third-party recording apps.

These 30 apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find for the latest MacOS and how they can help out your…

How to find a lost phone, whether it's Android, iPhone, or any other kind

Need to know how to find a lost phone? Here, we’ll help you locate your lost or stolen phone using both native and third-party apps and services, whether it’s a smartphone or an older variety.

Sixth public beta of iOS 12 still lacks one key feature

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.

Best Buy drops the price of MacBooks for its anniversary sale

It's not every day you see a MacBook sale like this, so you'll definitely want to consider these savings -- especially if you're a student. Students can save an additional $150 just by signing up for Best Buy student deals.

Walmart Back to College sale: Save big on computers, TVs, tablets, and more

Walmart's Back to College sale is your chance to score big discounts on name-brand electronics, so whether you're getting ahead of the new school year or just doing some shopping, we've picked out the best deals that can save you hundreds…
Product Review

Recent production woes make the Eve V a worse buy than it once was

Our Eve V review looks at a crowdsourced detachable tablet that checks some boxes for its backers. Its delay in making it to the market holds it back in some areas, and Eve Technology is an unknown quantity.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 chip appears in benchmarks with improved performance

A benchmark for Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 850 processor show a less-than-stellar increase in multi-core performance over the previous 835 chip. Introduced in June, the Snapdragon 850 promises up to 30 percent better performance.

Apple’s rumored entry-level MacBook may appear in September starting at $1,200

Apple may reveal new products in September including an entry-level 13-inch MacBook based on Intel’s seventh-generation processors. Apple originally intended these units to rely on Intel’s now-delayed 10nm “Cannon Lake” processors.

AirDrop makes sending files to Apple devices easy -- here's how

Want to send files or photos to your friends when you're standing directly beside them? Instead of texting or emailing, why not learn how to use AirDrop? Here's everything you need to know about using AirDrop on both iOS and MacOS.

Stay safe on the web and save up to $70 with McAfee Total Protection

If you don't have some sort of protection on your phone, tablet, or computer, you're basically leaving the door open for anyone looking to do some cyber burgling. Protect yourself for a year with McAfee Total Protection for just $30.

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.

With Q#, Microsoft is throwing programmers the keys to quantum

Quantum computers aren’t yet practical, but Microsoft has already developed a programming language for them. Q# works inside Visual Studio, just like most other languages, and could offer a gateway into the weird world of quantum physics.

Here's how to convert an MP4 to an MP3 file with online and offline tools

Sometimes you just want the audio without the video. In this guide, we'll show you how to convert an MP4 to an MP3 using web-based software and dedicated programs for both Windows and MacOS.