Microsoft-hosted Online security-service for business users due in 2010

Microsoft's just-announced free anti-virus/anti-malware service, codenamed Morro, isn't the only new Microsoft security service in the works. There's a Microsoft-hosted security service for businesses in the pipeline, too, and it's due in 2010, according to a new Microsoft blog posting.

Microsoft's just-announced free anti-virus/anti-malware service, codenamed Morro, isn't the only new Microsoft security service in the works.

Company officials made a passing reference at their SharePoint Online/Exchange Online launch earlier this week to a new Microsoft-hosted service that will be part of the Online family. A Microsoft blog posting on November 18 shed a bit more light on the new service.

Microsoft is planning to make the new (and so far not-officially named) security service available in 2010, according to the post on Microsoft's Server and Tools Business News Bytes blog. A companion service -- Microsoft hosted management -- also is set for delivery in 2010, the blog posting said. The posting went on to note:

"(T)hese new offerings will enable IT managers to secure and manage desktops using Web-based subscription services. These management and security online services will be based on components from existing systems management, identity and security offerings, and will complement Microsoft’s on-premise solutions."

As I noted earlier this year, there has been talk for a number of months about Microsoft turning its Forefront security software into a Microsoft-hosted Forefront Online service.

Forefront is the uber-brand for a family of Microsoft enterprise security products that handle everything from Exchange security, to firewalling. In June 2007, Microsoft officials said they had started work on the next-generation versions of Forefront Client Security, Server Security and Edge Security and Access solutions, plus a new, unified management console for these products. This group of offerings is known as Stirling. Stirling products will be tightly integrated with one another, as well as with Active Directory and Microsoft System Center.

I also had heard previously that Microsoft was taking its System Center management software and morphing parts of it into a Microsoft-hosted management service. Tipsters said earlier this year that a "System Center Online" service potentially could include anti-virus, anti-spyware, system monitoring, backup/restore, asset inventory monitoring, policy management and software distribution/deployment services.

At the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference in October, company officials said Microsoft's gameplan is to offer a services complement to every one of its enterprise software products.

Existing offerings in the Microsoft Online Services portfolio include the Dynamics CRM Online service; the now-shipping Exchange Online and SharePoint Online services; Office Live Meeting (a new version of which, slated to be built on top of the Azure cloud platform, is in the works); Office Communications Online, the hosted version of Office Communications Server due in the first half of 2009; and the Business Productivity Suite Online, a bundle of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Communications Server Online and Live Meeting.