Thursday, July 21, 2005

Microsoft buys FrontBridge

#122 Microsoft is finally adding some meat to the bones of its security offering. They made good on their announcements at the Feb '05 RSA Conference I attended in San Francisco, to provide a security offering for its messaging platform by aquiring FrontBridge Technologies, a provider of secure messaging services. The price was as usual, undisclosed.

What makes this aquisition significant? Its the first one they have made with a company that is actually known in the security community! All its previous aquisitions in this space have been with obscure (but good technology) companies. I mean who had ever heard of Giant and Sybari etc? Also, they are buying services instead of technology as Frontbridge provides managed hosted email antispam, managed antivirus, disaster continuity and archiving services. Microsoft makes no bones that it intends offering managed services in addition to security technology. The deal comes almost five months after Microsoft acquired Sybari Software and its anti-virus and anti-spam products. Microsoft now has two of the three methods for delivering e-mail hygiene: hosted (FrontBridge), premise (Sybari) and an appliance.

My view is that while Microsoft and Cisco's security offerings were at the "good enough" stages for a while, the convergence of security with networking and the OS will see these two vendors investing in best of breed technologies to get them beyond this and become the security gorillas I expect them to be by 2007. Heres other versions of this story: Computerworld and Networkworld
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