Microsoft to open first European security lab

In a move to strengthen its security threat response, Microsoft is opening two labs to study the growing amount of malicious software, executives have announced.

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Microsoft is opening two new security labs - includingits first in Europe - to study the growing amount of malicious software, executives have announced.

The Malware Protection Centres in Dublin and Tokyo, will be staffed by analysts who will create updates - called "signatures" - for its security products to detect malicious software, said Roger Halbheer, chief security advisor for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The new labs will give it facilities in three time zones.

The labs will be similar to those run by competitors such as Symantec and McAfee. Until now, Microsoft company has run just one lab at its US headquarters, which is available, if needed, on a 24-hour basis, the company said.

But Microsoft stressed it was not trying to directly compete with their rivals' facilities, but trying to meet users' needs. "We know we are building a capability that others already have," a spokesman said.

The labs will support Microsoft's array of security products. The company has announced that its antivirus and antispyware product for business desktops, Forefront Client Security, is now out of beta testing and will be available in the next month.

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