Microsoft Introduces 'Forefront' Brand

Kicking off TechEd 2006 with a Sunday evening keynote, Microsoft senior vice president Bob Muglia introduced a new brand for the company's upcoming security products: Forefront. At the core of Forefront will be Client Security, along with Microsoft's new Antigen lineup.

Formerly known as Microsoft Client Protection, Forefront Client Security serves as the central management console for managing security across an enterprise. A "State Assessment Scan" has been added to the product for determining machines that need patches or are configured insecurely, while "Single Profile Configuration" creates a standard policy setting.

"One of the key challenges customers face when protecting desktops and laptops is that of controlling and managing the state of client security across the organization," says Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Security, Access and Solutions Division.

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"By simplifying the visibility and management of desktop and laptop security, we can enable IT administrators to better secure their environments, regardless of where those machines may be located."

Forefront Client Security is currently in private beta testing and will be rolled out as a public beta late this year. The final release of the product is expected in the second quarter of 2007.

Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Security for SharePoint, both currently part of Microsoft's Antigen security line, will be released alongside Exchange 2007 and Office 2007. Microsoft will eventually brand its Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server under the Forefront name as well.

Customers will be able to purchase Forefront as an integrated suite, or as standalone products. Licensing will also be available as part of the Enterprise CAL suite and the Exchange Enterprise CAL suite, Kummert said.

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