Did you get a Windows Defender error on New Year’s Day?

A number of folks including Dwight Silverman of TechBlog are reporting that on January 1st they were welcomed by the following cryptic error message when they booted up their WinXP computer:

Application failed to initialize: 0x800106ba. A problem caused Windows Defender Service to stop.

The Windows Defender anti-spyware program is a pretty important piece of a computer user’s security arsenal so there’s no question that this message was disturbing to say the least.  The reality is not so bad as Dwight points out, it seems that Windows Defender Beta 2 expired for many on the last day of the year 2006 and you simply need to download and install the final version to reset the timer.  Nice descriptive error message, Defender team.

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