BARCELONA, Spain—Microsoft will use the IT Forum at its annual TechEd Europe conference here to announce a set of milestones for IT professionals, including the first public beta of the Forefront Client Security product, which offers anti-virus and malicious software protection and removal.
"This is a very important milestone for us as this is a new business for Microsoft," said Andy Lees, Microsofts corporate vice president for server and tools marketing, in an eWEEK interview ahead of the conference.
Bob Muglia, the senior vice president for Microsofts server and tools division, is giving the opening keynote at the sold-out show that is expected to draw more than 4,750 IT professionals from around the world.
Muglia will use that address to announce that the Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Security for SharePoint products will be available in December to help businesses protect against malware, spam, inappropriate content and unwanted files.
These products are a result of Microsofts acquisition of Sybari and its Antigen products in 2005, which now fall under the Forefront brand.
Both products ship with nine different scan engines from various security vendors, which are integrated and managed in a single solution to provide comprehensive layered protection against the latest threats, Lees said.
Some early adopters, like Andreas Zit, a senior consultant in the Business Infrastructure Department of T-Systems Austria, say they are pleased with what they see so far.
"Based on our early evaluation of Exchange Server 2007 and Forefront Security for Exchange, we are confident the combination of these two products will help ensure we have a secure and resilient messaging environment," he said.
Muglia will also announce the release of a Sharepoint Portal Optimizer and Dynamic CRM Optimizer, based on the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) VPN solution that Microsoft acquired when it bought Whale Communications.
"Our unique value-add on security is that no one is the leader in client, server, edge and cloud security. While there are different players in this large business, people have point solutions that are not integrated. That can create gaps, or even contradictions, in security strategy, and we think our comprehensive approach helps address that," Lees said.
Asked about the enormous skepticism that followed Microsoft s move into this security space, given how many security issues its own software faced, Lees said customers had been impressed by its existing Antigen for Exchange and ISA Server products and what they could do.
"I see people taking our entry into the security market as a good thing and we are getting a lot of interest from customers. Well see what interest is like for the Forefront Client Security beta, which is a very important marker for us in getting into that business," he said.