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June 12, 2006

Microsoft’s TechEd 2006 kicks off with a yawn

Posted by David Hunter at 8:28 PM ET.

I watched the Webcast of yesterday’s TechEd 2006 keynote and offer the modest suggestion that it would be rather better for Microsoft to take it easy on the soporific “People-Ready Business vision” marketing boilerplate and cut to the technical content. To that end, here’s the raw meat:

Security (more details here)

- Antigen e-mail security products announced last week

- Internet Security & Acceleration Server 2006 launched

- Microsoft Forefront announced as new brand for enterprise security products including the next generation of Antigen products. “The Forefront line will include Forefront Client Security (formerly called Microsoft Client Protection), a solution delivering unified malware protection for business desktops, laptops and server operating systems. An early beta version has been made available to select customers, and a public beta is planned for the fourth quarter of 2006.”

Microsoft Application Platform

- A Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the forthcoming SQL Server Everywhere client database was announced – download it here.

- Community Technology Preview of Visual Studio® Team Edition for Database Professionals announced – download it here.

- BizTalk® Server 2006 R2 was revealed last week and there was also mention of a “BizTalk Adapter Pack, a set of application adapters to enable customers to surface line-of-business data directly into familiar interfaces such as Microsoft Office or any client using Web services”.

Exchange (more details here)

- Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 Announced – available for testing by the end of July

- “Microsoft also disclosed new mobile features and functionality in Exchange Server 2007, including support for search on a device, improved meeting request handling, support for HTML e-mail, message flagging and self-service remote device wipe. The upcoming availability of Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 is a key step forward to general availability for late 2006 or early 2007.”

Compute Cluster

- Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 released last week

System Center Operations Manager

- Beta of System Center Operations Manager 2007 now publicly available here.

Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta)

- Microsoft Dynamics™ AX version 4.0 launched – details here

There’s likely more to come, but it’s certainly a mixed bag of products.

Filed under Antigen, Axapta, BizTalk, Client Protection, Compute Cluster, Conferences, Dynamics, Exchange, Forefront, General Business, ISA Server, MBS, Marketing, Microsoft, OS - Server, Operations Manager, SQL Server, Servers, Team System, TechEd06, Tools

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April 10, 2006

Microsoft renews Trend Micro Hotmail antivirus deal

Posted by David Hunter at 11:02 AM ET.

Per the Associated Press:

Trend Micro Inc., a maker of antivirus and network security software, said on Monday it received an extension on a 2004 contract with Microsoft Corp. to provide antivirus scanning and cleaning services to 230 million MSN Hotmail e-mail accounts.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed; nor did the company say for how long the contract had been extended.

Apparently the Microsoft server antivirus products (Microsoft Client Protection, Antigen) don’t apply, aren’t ready yet, or can’t handle the considerable Hotmail load.

Filed under Antigen, Client Protection, Coopetition, Hotmail, MSN, Microsoft, Security, Servers, Trend Micro, Viruses and Worms

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February 9, 2006

Microsoft announces enterprise security betas, acquisition from FutureSoft

Posted by David Hunter at 3:30 PM ET.

Press Q&A:

We’re announcing several security product milestones: the beta availability of Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA) 2006, early select customer betas of both Microsoft Client Protection and Microsoft Antigen for Exchange (also Microsoft Antigen for SMTP Gateways, Antigen Spam Manager and Antigen Enterprise Manager – ed.) , and the acquisition of the DynaComm i:filter Web filtering product from FutureSoft, Inc., a privately held company, based in Houston, Tex.

ISA Server is the Internet Security and Acceleration Server which provides a variety of enterprise network security and speedup functions. The beta is public and available here.

Microsoft Client Protection is an antivirus and antispyware package for enterprises announced in October along with the Antigen products obtained in the acquisition of Sybari which provide antivirus and anti-spam protection for messaging and collaboration servers like Exchange. Those betas are limited and the whole family of Antigen products is expected to be generally available within six months, while MCP is due before the end of the year with a public beta in 3Q.

As for the FutureSoft DynaComm i:filter product:

This is a product that enables business customers to manage access to the Web in their environments. In addition to productivity concerns associated with unmanaged Web access, phishing attacks, malicious Web sites and other Web-based threats are leading to a growing security concern for our customers. Consequently, enabling customers to manage Web access in their environments is an important area of focus for our edge security offering.

We were impressed with DynaComm i:filter’s rich database and comprehensive management feature set. We believe this product will help us better address customer needs for more secure and productive Web access. It’s a product which already integrates with ISA Server and we will be looking at ways to deepen that integration, and simplify the user experience. Though it won’t be made available immediately, this product will help us deliver an additional layer of defense to our customers in future releases. We’ve acquired only the Web filtering product from FutureSoft. The company remains independent following this product acquisition.

More details on the FutureSoft web site.

Filed under Acquisitions, Antigen, Beta and CTP, Client Protection, ISA Server, Servers

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October 6, 2005

Microsoft Announces Enterprise Antivirus and Anti-spyware Products

Posted by David Hunter at 11:27 AM ET.

Press release:

Oct. 6, 2005 — Today in Munich, Germany, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp.’s chief executive officer, and Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Security Technology Unit, outlined Microsoft’s companywide strategy and product road map for helping secure the breadth of its customers from home PC users to businesses of all sizes. As part of its comprehensive security strategy, which focuses on a defense-in-depth approach, Ballmer announced Microsoft’s plans to release Microsoft® Client Protection, a solution to help protect business desktops, laptops and file servers from current and emerging malware threats. In addition, the company announced the creation of the SecureIT Alliance, which will further enable participating security partners to efficiently integrate their solutions with the Microsoft platform to build new security features and products for the benefit of their common customers.

Concerning Microsoft Client Protection:

Microsoft Client Protection will help protect business desktops, laptops and file servers by providing unified protection against emerging threats such as spyware and rootkits, as well as viruses and other traditional attacks.

“We have heard from business customers that they want protection from viruses, spyware and other malware threats with a single solution. Backed by a global research system, Microsoft Client Protection will address this need with one solution that combines proven protection technology with integrated management and reporting capabilities,” Nash said.

An integrated management console puts IT professionals in control of their environment, and prioritized reports and alerts help focus resources on critical issues. Microsoft Client Protection will integrate with existing IT infrastructure, such as Active Directory® and existing software distribution systems, helping to reduce deployment time and maximize value.

The product is currently in development and Microsoft plans to make an early beta of the product available to select customers later this year. Pricing and licensing will be announced at a later date.

There’s also a Q&A.

As for the SecureIT Alliance:

Microsoft today announced the creation of the SecureIT Alliance, a group of industry partners that are working together to develop security solutions for the Microsoft platform. The SecureIT Alliance unites and expands various security and Internet safety partnerships Microsoft currently has with other industry leaders and governments, including the Virus Information Alliance (VIA) and the Global Infrastructure Alliance for Internet Safety (GIAIS), among others.

At the time of the announcement of the SecureIT Alliance, founding members include: Altiris Inc., Aventail Corp., BindView Corp., Centrify Corp., Citrix Systems Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., Configuresoft Inc., e-Security Inc., F5 Networks Inc., Forum Systems Inc., F-Secure Corp., FullArmor Corp., LANDesk Software Ltd., McAfee, Inc., Microsoft Corp., Net Report, NetIQ Corp., Network Intelligence Corp., Panda Software, Ping Identity Corp., Quest Software Inc., RSA Security Inc., Symantec Corp., Trend Micro Inc., Utimaco Safeware AG, VeriSign Inc., Voltage Security Inc., Vormetric Inc. and Websense Inc.

They plan to eventually have a web site at

Finally, (back to the original press release) Microsoft announced Microsoft Antigen:

Today Microsoft also announced plans to release Microsoft Antigen anti-virus and anti-spam security software for messaging and collaboration servers based on the technology from recently acquired Sybari Software Inc. Adding to the defense-in-depth strategy inherent in Microsoft Antigen, Microsoft will add its own anti-virus scan engine. When it is available, customers of the Microsoft Sybari product line will benefit from the addition of the Microsoft anti-virus scan engine at no additional charge throughout the length of their contracts. In addition, Microsoft Antigen for Exchange recently completed Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle review process, which has been shown to achieve measurably improved levels of security for numerous Microsoft software solutions. Microsoft Antigen for Exchange is scheduled to be available in beta to customers in the first half of 2006.

Sybari provided a number of enterprise offerings, but Microsoft will not continue the non-Windows part of the original product line.

Filed under Alliances, Antigen, Client Protection, Exchange, Executives, Rootkits, Security, Servers, Spyware, Steve Ballmer, Sybari, Viruses and Worms

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