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Microsoft has a plan to kill annoying adware once and for all

Published Apr 7th, 2014 11:31AM EDT
Microsoft Anti-Adware Initiative

Microsoft knows how annoying it can be to have an adware program take over your browser and inject extra ads onto the webpages you’re visiting. That’s why it announced last week that it’s taking a much firmer stand against adware starting this summer by automatically blocking annoying adware programs unless a user gives them explicit permission to run.

Microsoft says that it’s aiming to have a new system in place for its security products by July 1st this year that will automatically block any adware programs that don’t give users an easy way to close out advertisements, that don’t tell users the name of the program that is creating ads and that don’t give users an easy way to uninstall the program. Microsoft is also forcing advertisers to give “the program in the uninstall entry” a title that  “exactly matches the name shown in the advertisement” so that users can easily find exactly what they want to uninstall.

Adware developers now have around three months to comply with these new standards, although we expect that they’ll do their best to find loopholes in Microsoft’s new policy that will let them keep injecting our browsers with mysterious ads that we have no obvious way to get rid of. Nonetheless, it’s encouraging to see Microsoft be more assertive when it comes to reining in one of the most annoying potential pitfalls of browsing the web on Windows-based PCs.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.