Microsoft announced today that it had bought New York software company Giant Company Software, which produces a robust anti-spyware tool.
Spyware – a common form of malicious application – has grown in prominence as a serious threat to businesses and individuals, and Giant’s approach is particularly useful in protecting against the threat.
Microsoft representatives did not announce how much they paid for the small company, but did hint at the future of the tool. Initially, Microsoft plans to offer a free evaluation version which will run on Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003 systems, saying Gordon Mangione, corporate vice president of security patches.
The company has not decided how much, or even if, it will charge for Giant AntiSpyware, or whether the software will be bundled with future versions of Windows, Mangione says.
“We´re still figuring out what to do and how to make the technology available to customers. There are lots of options,” he says.
The larger question on the minds of industry watchers is what Microsoft plans to do with the new software long term. Speculation ranges from creating a new software package to either be bundled with Windows or sold as a separate suite, to simply selling the software as part of a value added bundle for dedicated clients and customers.
It’s entirely likely Microsoft isn’t even sure what they will do with the small company known as Giant Software, however one thing is clear: the move will likely be met with both applause and disdain.