The eagerly anticipated news from Microsoft came today from CEO Steve Ballmer and VP of Security Technology Unit Mike Nash in Munich, Germany. The announcements included plans to release Microsoft® Client Protection, an enterprise solution for businesses that protects company networks and servers from malware threats. Microsoft also announced the creation of SecureIT Alliance, to "further enable participating security partners to efficiently integrate their solutions with the Microsoft platform to build new security features and products for the benefit of their common customers."
Ballmer stated "At Microsoft, we’re investing heavily in security because we want customers to be able to trust their computing experiences, so they can realize the full benefits of the interconnected world we live in," Ballmer said. "With the continuing onslaught of malware, viruses, phishing attacks and other kinds of Internet fraud, creating a more secure computing environment requires a concerted, long-term effort on the part of all technology companies, as well as customers and governments."
An early beta of Microsoft® Client Protection for select customers is expected to be available by the end of the year. Licensing and pricing have not yet been announced. Plans were also announced to release Microsoft's new Antigen application, an integrated anti-spam and anti-virus for messaging and collaboration servers based on technology from Sybari, a recent Microsoft acquisition. Microsoft Antigen for Exchange is anticipated to be available in beta in the first half of 2006.
I had the pleasure of seeing Steve Ballmer speak at the Microsoft Global MVP Summit last week Not only is he a very dynamic speaker, (not at all a stuffy CEO), but he did communicate a strong commitment to increased security in all of Microsoft's development processes and products. Fellow security MVP Steve Friedl posted highlights from some of the security sessions here and here at DSLReports.com's security forum including news about Rights Management Services, Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista's new security features, Security Technology Investments & Roadmap, Microsoft AntiSpyware beta and IPSec.
I know what some of you Microsoft skeptics are thinking but I think many people will be surprised and I daresay impressed with the changes and news, especially about Windows Vista and IE7, yet to come.