The company joins many others scrambling to get solid footing in the enterprise security market before Microsoft floods it.
Hoping to increase its might in the anti-spyware market, Trend Micro Inc. has released two new products and one service, aimed at enterprises, small businesses and consumers.
The companys new Anti-Spyware Enterprise Edition is a stand-alone anti-spyware product for desktops, and is targeted at midsized to larger organizations that are looking for a multilayered approach to security.
Trend Micro also released the 2006 version of PC-cillin Internet Security, for home users who want a simplified, automated way to combat spyware and other threats.
Finally, the company launched a "Worry-Free Security" initiative aimed at helping smaller businesses secure their networks through the use of the companys anti-virus and anti-spam products.
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"We realized that one solution doesnt fit all," said Bob Hansmann, Trend Micros senior product marketing manager for North America. "Some companies are looking for a layered approach, while others just want protection at the desktop. Thats why were trying to be the first company that addresses every level."
The Trend Micro releases are part of a larger movement in the industry among security vendors to roll out products in advance of Microsofts forthcoming enterprise-class anti-spyware products, expected in 2006.
Microsofts announcement that it would be pursuing a stronger position in the security market set vendors revving up their development timetables, as well as their acquisition strategies. The result has been a spate of product rollouts, partnership agreements and mergers.
Trend Micro purchased Massachusetts-based InterMute, which provided some of the technology included in the recent releases. Also, on Friday, the company unveiled a deal with Dell Inc. to bundle trial versions of Trend Micros PC-cillin.
Read more here about Dells agreement to preload Trend Micros PC-cillin onto Dell computers.
Symantec, meanwhile, has said it will make more strategic acquisitions this year, following its buy of Veritas Software, and expects to create consolidation in the market by buying a company approximately every 18 months.
"Security vendors werent really in much of a hurry to do the next generation of anti-spyware until Microsoft said it was entering the market," said John Pescatore, vice president of research at Gartner Inc. "That caused many vendors to accelerate their plans."
When Microsoft does bring its product out of beta, it is likely that security vendors will be far ahead in terms of capability, Pescatore said.
"Symantec will be able to say they have everything Microsoft is offering, plus a load of additional stuff," he said.
But, since Microsofts anti-spyware offering will be free to anyone with a Windows license, the company could still be tough to beat, even if its not the first off the starting blocks.
Small businesses in particular will gravitate to Microsofts product because of cost, Pescatore predicted, and midsized companies may choose Microsoft because the offering will integrate with its other applications.
Click here to read more about Microsofts upcoming anti-spyware product.
However, because there is still little detail on what will be included, it is possible that Microsoft could watch the market trends and tweak its product all the way up to the release date.
"At this point, its a huge unknown," said Michael Cherry, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft. "But they arent giving themselves an advantage by trailing behind. Users, particularly companies, want protection on their systems now."
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