Patent Number: 7,765,592

Title: Changed file identification, software conflict resolution and unwanted file removal

Abstract: As computer programs grow more complex, extensible, and connected, it becomes increasingly difficult for users to understand what has changed on their machines and what impact those changes have. An embodiment of the invention is described via a software tool, called AskStrider, that answers those questions by correlating volatile process information with persistent-state context information and change history. AskStrider scans a system for active components, matches them against a change log to identify recently updated and hence more interesting state, and searches for context information to help users understand the changes. Several real-world cases are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of using AskStrider to quickly identify the presence of unwanted software, to determine if a software patch is potentially breaking an application, and to detect lingering components left over from an unclean uninstallation.

Inventors: Wang; Yi-Min (Bellevue, WA), Johnson; Aaron R. (Lynnwood, WA), Ladd; David C. (Redmond, WA), Roussev; Roussi A. (Bellevue, WA), Verbowski; Chad E. (Redmond, WA)

Assignee: Microsoft Corporation

International Classification: G06F 21/00 (20060101); G06F 12/14 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 7/27/12018