News Analysis

Microsoft makes corporate security push

Microsoft is moving into the enterprise security market with new antivirus and antispyware products it hopes to have available for businesses by the end of the year, with a server-level offering to follow early in 2006.

It made the announcements in a strategic security update, which also signalled the setting up of an alliance of around 30 security vendors, the Secure IT Alliance , to work on better integration between their products and those from Microsoft. The alliance includes Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, F-Secure and VeriSign.

A new Microsoft client protection product is designed to help protect business desktops, laptops and file servers from current and emerging malware threats such as spyware, viruses and rootkits. The software will offer IT administrators central management capabilities and work with Microsoft's Active Directory and Windows Server Updates Services patch management tool. Microsoft is also working to deliver digital rights management tools as well as identity management technologies for user access control.

The move into the enterprise security market tends to suggest that Microsoft has more confidence in the security of its products. Witness its recent presentation of new Explorer elements to the hacking community. The Secure IT Alliance sounds impressive, but the suspicion remains that this may be more marketing than substance. Alliances always take too long to achieve too little.


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