Windows Defender Beta 2 – Not Ready for Tablet PC Primetime

by Reads (3,482)

Are you brave enough to do it?

Microsoft has finally done a makeover for its AntiSpyware Beta 2. Although this “new and improved” interface looks to be promising evolution of Microsoft’s war on spyware, we wouldn’t recommend that you download it just yet.

  • “Improvements” in Windows Defender (Beta 2)
  • Enhanced performance through a new scanning engine.
  • Streamlined, simplified user interface and alerts.
  • Improved control over programs on your computer with enhanced Software Explorer. Multiple language support with globalization and localization features.
  • Protection features for all users, whether or not they have administrator rights on the computer.
  • Support for assistive technology for individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities.
  • Support for Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
  • Automatic cleaning according to your settings during regularly scheduled scans

    We worked with Windows Defender taking note of what works and doesn’t. Here is what we found:


    There were no problems whatsoever. It seems that Windows Defender has cut out a few steps from the installation in Windows AntiSpyware. This makes it a little easier to make a quick choice about the type of setup the user needs sans the multiple prompts, which can be a bit confusing.


    Windows Defender reported that it had been 22 days since the last update. At this point the software started to automatically perform a scan on our machine while attempting to receive updates. A notification that “no updates were found” popped up in the taskbar. After the scan finished we made a second attempt to retrieve an update, but had no luck. An icon with an exclamation point remained in the taskbar warning us that the software is out of date, but there is no way to retrieve the update. We feel unsafe!

    Startup Programs

    After becoming a bit frustrated with Windows Defender’s lack of ability to update, we moved on to disabling unneeded startup applications. Although this function worked fine in Windows AntiSpyware, it seems that this is a worthless endeavor in the current version of Windows Defender. Did we miss something here?

    Bottom Line: Perhaps other Windows Defender users have had luck in retrieving updates. Maybe the bugs we found are fixed with an update we missed. Based on the fact that we think spyware is no joke, we can’t help but wonder if Microsoft is playing one on us right now? Let’s hope that whatever is going on here that the joke is over soon — because we’re not laughing.

    UPDATE: We were able to retrieve updates several hours after our initial attempts. This did indeed stop the notifications that the definitions were out of date. Unfortunately the software updates did not seem to improve any of the bugs we found.

    Please check back with us here at for more information on Windows Defender as we continue to work with it.




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