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Gates: AntiSpyware Remains Free, IE 7.0 Coming This Summer

Contrary to expectations, Microsoft will continue to offer its anti-spyware tool for free and will revamp Internet Explorer sooner rather than later, company chairman Bill Gates said Tuesday in a keynote speech at the RSA Conference.

"Blocking and scanning of spyware should be available to every Windows system," Gates said at the in San Francisco security conference, which opened Monday and runs through Friday.

The Redmond, Wash.-based developer, however, will offer business-grade managed anti-spyware solutions, said Gates, "that will include rich administration capabilities. We'll have a separate administration product and license for that."

Microsoft AntiSpyware, a revamped and renamed product acquired in December's purchase of Giant Company Software, has been available for download in beta form since early January. According to Gates, more than five million free copies have been pulled from its Web site.

Gates also announced a major change in Microsoft's intentions for its Internet Explorer browser. Rather than wait for Longhorn, the next-generation edition of Windows that's not expected until 2006, to roll out an updated IE, Gates said that the company would beta test the next edition, Internet Explorer 7.0, by early summer.

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