On the day the software giant completed its purchase of Sybari Software Inc., a deal first announced in February, Microsoft Corp. announced it would immediately discontinue new sales of Sybaris flagship Antigen suite for the Unix and Linux platforms.
The move means that Sybari Antigen 6.0 for Lotus Domino servers running IBMs AIX Unix operating system will be dropped from the product line.
Sybari had expanded its suite in 2002 to add support for Big Blues AIX Unix operating system, describing the move as the "result of Antigen customer and partner requests."
Amy Roberts, director of product management in Microsofts security business and technology unit, said the company will continue to market Antigen for Domino on Windows NT.
In an interview with Ziff Davis Internet News, Roberts said Sybari customers on the Unix and Linux platforms will continue to receive anti-virus updates through the life of the existing contract.
Sybari has about 10,000 customers worldwide, but only a small fraction of those are running on Unix and Linux platforms, Roberts added.
Roberts said the plan is to market Sybari products for the Microsoft Windows platform, including Antigen for Microsoft Exchange, Antigen for Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services, Antigen for Instant Messaging, Antigen for SMTP Gateways, Sybari Enterprise Manager, Advanced Spam Manager, Advanced Spam Defense and Antigen for Domino on Windows NT.
Reacting to earlier speculation that the Sybari technology would be integrated into the Windows operating system or combined with an existing product, Roberts made it clear that the components of the Antigen suite will remain as stand-alone applications.
But there is a chance that the product suite could be rebranded to assume the Microsoft name, Roberts said.
Roberts said the existing Sybari sales channel and licensing models will remain intact for the immediate future, and Microsofts Sybari operations will continue to have their headquarters in East Northport, N.Y.
Sybari gives customers a choice of as many as seven anti-virus scanning engines from third-party vendors that include Network Associates Inc., Norman Data Defense Systems, Sophos Inc., Computer Associates International Inc. and Kaspersky Lab.
Roberts said Microsofts in-house virus scanner, which is based on technology acquired in 2003 from GeCAD Software Srl., eventually will be added to the mix.
The GeCAD technology is powering Microsofts consumer-facing Windows OneCare PC security offering, which bundles anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall protection and PC cleanup tools.
Windows OneCare, previously known as A1, is being tested by Microsofts 60,000 employees and invite-only beta testers. A full scale rollout is expected later this year.