Microsoft will launch business security product next month

The business security product Microsoft has been working on since 2003 will finally make its debut in May, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

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The business security product Microsoft has been working on since 2003 will finally make its debut in May, according to Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer.

Speaking at a security and systems management event near Amsterdam, Ballmer said that Forefront Client Security, Microsoft's anti-virus and anti-spyware product for business desktops, will be available "in the next month". The product has been in beta testing for more than a year, and the company's most recent target for final release is by the end of June.

Ballmer characterised the product, which is a combination of technologies acquired from other companies and Microsoft in-house development, as an all-in-one security product for PCs in a business environment. "It really does do hygiene, security, antivirus all the way down to the client level," he said.

ComputerworldUK’s sister publication Webwereld in the Netherlands posted a video of Ballmer's keynote address on its web site.

Forefront Client Security is based on software Microsoft acquired in its 2003 purchase of antivirus vendor GeCAD. It also includes antispyware technology that Microsoft brought on board in 2004 when it bought Giant Company Software.

In his speech, Ballmer acknowledged that it is only been in the last five years that Microsoft has made security a priority as it developed new and existing products.

"About five years ago, we got a real wake-up call: security issues really started to accelerate on the internet and in our products," he said. "We had built products and designed them in a world [before] the internet. [When] we started to see an increase in the number of security issues, the first thing we did was committed ourselves to the reliability of our core products."

Ballmer also said that even as Microsoft continues efforts to make its software more inherently secure, there likely will always be a need for additional and third-party security products for the most reliable protection of IT systems. This is why the company opted to build its own security line.

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