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Microsoft News Tracker

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May 2, 2007

Microsoft launches Forefront Client Security and System Center Essentials 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 6:37 PM ET.

Today at a business partner security event in Los Angeles, Bob Muglia (Senior Vice-President, Server and Tools Business) launched Microsoft’s Forefront Client Security and System Center Essentials 2007:

Launched today, Microsoft Forefront Client Security is designed to help protect business desktops, laptops and server operating systems from viruses, spyware, Trojans and other current and emerging threats. Microsoft Forefront Client Security delivers critical visibility into threats and vulnerabilities through central management, and integrates with System Center solutions, Active Directory® directory services and other Microsoft technologies.

Muglia also announced the launch of System Center Essentials 2007, a unified management solution to help IT professionals in midsize organizations proactively and efficiently manage their IT environment. System Center Essentials 2007 provides the only unified solution to help simplify a broad set of tasks across the entire IT environment. The solution features a single console from which IT management can view and manage servers, clients, hardware, software and IT services.

Forefront Client Security is licensed on a per-user, per-device basis, starting at $12.72 per user or device, per year for the security agent and at $2,468 per year for the management console. The product is available for purchase today as part of the Microsoft Enterprise Client Access License suite via Microsoft Volume Licensing, with stand-alone product availability in July via standard Microsoft volume licensing channels.

Microsoft System Center Essentials is offered as a management server with built-in support to manage 50 clients and 10 servers starting at $2,000. Customers can add up to 500 clients in increments of 20 or five Management Licenses (MLs), priced at $400 and $100 respectively, and up to 30 servers in increments of five and one ML, priced at $500 and $100 respectively. The product will be available in July via standard Microsoft volume licensing and retail channels. All prices are U.S. estimated retail prices.

There’s no shortage of entrenched vendors in either client security or infrastructure management so it will be interesting how Microsoft does as the new kid on the block. Their strength will obviously be in shops with both Windows clients and servers where they can claim unique knowledge, but that’s also their weakness in larger establishments which tend to be more heterogeneous.

Update: On a related note, Microsoft released Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004.

Filed under Bob Muglia, Essentials, Executives, Forefront, ISA Server, Microsoft, Servers

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February 2, 2007

Microsoft Launches Intelligent Application Gateway 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 2:06 PM ET.

Press release:

Feb. 1, 2007 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) 2007. IAG 2007 combines the secure sockets layer virtual private networking (SSL VPN) and Web application firewall product obtained in the acquisition of Whale Communications in July 2006, with the Microsoft® Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server), integrated to provide a single, consolidated appliance for network perimeter defense, remote access, endpoint security management and application-layer protection. More information about ISA Server and Whale Communications can be found at

IAG 2007 is now available in pre-installed and configured appliances manufactured by Celestix Networks Inc. and Network Engines Inc. and sold through a wide range of reseller partners. To meet the needs of security resellers and make SSL VPNs more affordable for all customers, Microsoft has simplified pricing and licensing for IAG 2007, which will now include all-in-one pricing for the gateway, and all Intelligent Application Optimizers, Network Connectors and security modules developed for business-critical applications to implement specific client-side and enhanced application-layer security policies. In addition, client access licenses will now be based on the number of authenticated users or devices connecting to IAG appliances rather than on concurrent users, providing customers with more flexible and scalable pricing and licensing.

IAG is the old Whale Communications brand name.

Note also that IAG 2007 is only available on hardware:

IAG 2007 is available only as an appliance, and Microsoft’s OEM partners will provide the hardware frontline services and support for the product, said Sloss. The Redmond, Wash.-based vendor has partnered with Network Engines and Celestix Networks and is looking for additional partners, he said.

“The OEMs will own that relationship with the customer and provide maintenance and front line support. There’s a real opportunity for additional revenue,” said Sloss.

Also in related Microsoft security news:

Microsoft also announced its has signed up more than 100 networking and security partners to support Network Access Protection, the vendor’s long awaited network access control product, which will be ready for widespread use when Longhorn Server launches later this year.

There is more in the NAP press release.

Filed under Celestix, Coopetition, ISA Server, Microsoft, Network Access Protection, Network Engines, OS - Client, OS - Server, Servers, Technologies, Whale Communications, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista

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August 23, 2006

Microsoft and Citrix team for branch office appliance

Posted by David Hunter at 9:42 AM ET.

Press release:

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS), today announced they plan to expand their existing partnership in access and end-to-end application delivery to make computing faster, more secure and more cost-effective for employees in branch office locations. The two companies will collaborate on developing and marketing a new multifunction Citrix branch office appliance based on the Microsoft® Windows Server® operating system and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server and utilizing the recently announced Citrix® WANScaler™ solution.

The planned joint solution represents a new type of branch office appliance that combines advanced wide area network (WAN) optimization technologies with consolidated branch office services in a single, multifunction appliance that is easy to administer remotely. This combination helps solve a major problem for customers that cannot be solved today with traditional networking solutions or individual point products and that Microsoft and Citrix are uniquely able to address with their technologies, channel partners and customer reach.

The joint marketing and development plan comes amid growing trends in both branch office IT consolidation and increased mobility among branch office and remote workers. An estimated 55 percent of enterprise employees today access all of their mission-critical business applications from a remote office location, according to Citrix’s research. Before these applications reach the intended user, they must travel long distances over wide-area networks (WANs), a process that can significantly degrade performance, impact the user experience and force expensive bandwidth upgrades. Support for workers in locations beyond headquarters is a major challenge for corporate IT departments.

The new initiative builds on an already extensive partnership between these two market leaders and is the first step in a long-term plan by the two companies to collaborate on other Windows®-based application delivery and access solutions.

Citrix has long had a symbiotic relationship with Microsoft in the niche of using Windows server operating systems as hosts for thin clients – i.e. the end user applications actually ran on the server and results were displayed on client terminals. It’s sort of the old mainframe dumb terminal updated for the PC era.

However, to provide an equivalent look and feel to a regular Windows PC a good deal of data has to be transferred between the thin client and the server which puts a premium on bandwidth and makes it tougher when the connection is via WAN rather than LAN. This announcement is based on Citrix’s acquisition of Orbital Data whose WAN acceleration technology for this purpose is being reintroduced as the Citrix WANScaler. The magic behind the curtain is data compression and protocol optimization and it is useful for general WAN traffic like file transfers as well as the terminal scenario.

Filed under Alliances, Citrix, Coopetition, ISA Server, Microsoft, OS - Server, Servers, Technologies, Terminal Services, Windows Server 2003

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August 2, 2006

Microsoft ISA Server 2006 released to manufacturing

Posted by David Hunter at 6:59 PM ET.

It’s not exactly being shouted from the rooftops, but Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2006 has RTMed and there’s now a 180 day trial edition available for download.

Filed under ISA Server, Microsoft, Servers

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