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Microsoft readies public preview of new Azure Information Protection rights-management service

Microsoft will launch a public preview in July of its Azure Information Protection service, which builds on technology from its November 2015 Secure Islands acquisition.

Microsoft plans to launch some time next month a public preview of a new Azure Information Protection Service, which includes technology from its Secure Islands acquisition.

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Microsoft bought Secure Islands in November 2015 for an estimated price of about $77.5 million. At that time, Microsoft officials said Microsoft planned to integrate Secure Islands' data classification and labeling technology into its Azure Rights Management Service (RMS) to help companies meet compliance and protection requirements of their cloud, on-premises and mobile data.

Today, June 22, Microsoft announced the name of the new combined service -- Azure Information Protection -- and the timing of the coming public preview. Microsoft plans to make Azure Information Protection generally available later this calendar year.

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Microsoft officials said that the coming Azure Information Protection service is an example of Microsoft's "identity-driven approach to security," as is its Enterprise Mobility Suite.

The new service will classify, label and protect data at the time of creation or modificiation via policies, according to Microsoft's blog post. Those classifications will travel with data, regardless of where (cloud or on-premises) or on what kind of mobile device it's stored. The new service also will include rights-management capabilities for Office and other "common" applications.

Microsoft officials are not yet sharing any pricing or packaging details about Azure Information Protection. That will happen closer to general availability of the new service.

Today's blog post says:

"Current Azure RMS customers will continue to use the same capabilities with no change to their service, until the General Availability of Azure Information Protection, later this calendar year, when they will begin to receive the new expanded capabilities."

Based on that wording, I'd say it seems that Microsoft plans to replace Azure RMS with Azure Information Protection, once the new service is generally available, but a Microsoft spokesperson would not confirm whether that's the case.

Last year, Microsoft introduced a Premium version of RMS in its Enterprise Mobility Suite at the same time as it added Advanced Threat Analytics (technology from its Aorato acquisition) to the bundle.