Ben Edelman, who has been following the adware industry as closely as anyone, is proving a great watchdog. Here's his latest:
Microsoft's Antispyware program is now recommending that users "Ignore" Claria's presence on their PCs, whereas previously it recommended removal.
Screenshot linked from last paragraph of http://www.benedelman.org/news/063005-1.html
So there's clearly something going on here, and he points to another theory about the rumors floated recently about Microsoft-Claria: that Microsoft purposefully floated the rumor to see what the public reaction was like. We won't reveal the source who first approached us with the story before the Times published, but it is possible...we'll try to do some checking.
Oh, and here's our story that ran in today's Merc (free registration).