Microsoft set to begin blocking adware this summer

Microsoft set to begin blocking adware this summer

Adware has become the bane of end-user existence -- it seems you can’t install a free program without careful vetting of the process. Windows will pop up with boxes checked, in hopes that customers will click right on past. And they do. In large enough numbers to make it profitable to build these apps, it seems.

Now Microsoft plans to take action. The company today announces it will “give our customers choice and control regarding what happens with their computers”. Well, that’s rather nice -- and long overdue, as well.

To accomplish this feat, the company is changing how its security protection works. It isn’t over-reaching, but instead uses an algorithm to determine a positive hit. If a program forces pop-up ads then the behavior will be blocked. Ads within the application will be allowed, as these are within reason.

The company also promises to provide easier ways to uninstall these miscreants of the internet. “With our updated objective criteria, this is going to change. Now, when one of our products detects adware it will immediately stop the program and the user will be notified. The user then has the ability to restore the program if they wish”, says Microsoft’s Michael Johnson.

It’s a win for consumers, perhaps the biggest one since Windows XP turned on the firewall by default. It doesn’t mean all of our woes will suddenly disappear. However, it’s step in the right direction.