Lots of people were confused by VCs pouring $108 million into anti-spyware firm Webroot (even if it turned out that some percentage of it was to buy out the founders, rather than as an investment into the company). However, since then, the company seems to be doing everything it can to try to justify that valuation. Back in May they put out research claiming that 88% of corporate PCs had spyware or adware. That seems quite high... until you realize they included tracking cookies in the definition. Whether you agree with tracking cookies or not, they're quite different than traditional adware or spyware, and the only reason to include them in this survey is to make the number seem bigger. While we pointed it out at the time, most of the press seems to have no problem blindly reporting the numbers, so here they come again with another report saying that 80% of corporate computers have spyware or adware. Of course, they also claim that spyware and adware is up 20 to 27% -- which is a bit surprising since the 80% number is actually lower than what they found in the last survey. Again, this sounds like spinning the numbers. The increase is in the number of spyware/adware programs total. Of course, considering that the vast majority of them are likely to be tracking cookies, it's hard to see how that number is all that meaningful. Digging into the rest of the data, about the only interesting fact that you can pull out of it is that "traditional" adware vendors (which likely includes Claria, WhenU, 180Solutions, Direct Revenue, Intermix and a few others) is on the decline -- suggesting that their newly found transparency is leading people to not install their products
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