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M$ closes Sybari acquistion - and its Unix/Linux lines

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Microsoft has completed its acquisition of anti-virus company Sybari Software and announced the end of the company's Unix and Linux versions.

The software giant will continue to support all the anti-virus engines that work with Sybari’s server-based products. Sybari provides virus signature updates using anti-virus engines from other vendors including Sophos, Computer Associates and Kaspersky Labs. Microsoft will integrate its own anti-virus engine, which it acquired in 2003 in its acquisition of GeCad.

Microsoft does plans to continue to support Sybari’s Antigen for Lotus Notes on the Windows platform, but will not sell Antigen versions for Unix and Linux. However, Microsoft will continue to offer Sybari products under existing pricing and licensing terms and support existing users on non-Windows platforms.

"We will continue to support those products for the life of the contracts," said Amy Roberts, director of product management in Microsoft’s security and technology business unit.

Sybari’s Antigen also works with Microsoft Exchange messaging server, as well as Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Windows SharePoint Services and Live Communications Server 2005. There is an Antigen version for SMTP Gateways.

Microsoft has been working to integrate Sybari’s Advanced Spam Manager with Exchange’s Intelligent Message Filter technology, according to Roberts: "Probably as we move forward we will continue to see this type of integration and there may be some additional work, but since the deal just closed a lot of that work will be getting the various engineering teams together to see what makes the most sense."

Microsoft also has management integration work to do to mesh its Dynamic Systems Initiative with Sybari’s management platform, which uses a single console to manage its software on the network. The likely intersection would be with Microsoft’s System Center brand of management software that now includes System Management Server, Microsoft Operations Manger, Data Protection Manager and Reporting Manager.

The close of the Sybari acquisition comes a day after Microsoft began soliciting beta testers for its OneCare online service that combines anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall protection for consumers and small businesses.

The moves are all part of Microsoft’s ongoing effort to beef up the security in its platform. The company also bought anti-spyware firm Giant in December 2004, which is now in beta under the name Microsoft Anti-spyware.

By John Fontana
Network World

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