July 12, 2006 6:00 AM PDT

Microsoft looks to share security gains

Looking to kick-start its security software business, Microsoft will offer resellers a 20 percent cut of its license sales in addition to the usual reseller margin.

The incentive is part of a new "Microsoft Security Software Advisor Program" that the software giant plans to announce Wednesday at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Boston. Microsoft has a similar program for resellers of its software for customer relationship management, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

"Our goal is to build the industry's leading security partner ecosystem and to ensure that our customers have the best experience with our Forefront security products," said Steve Brown, the director of product management in the security, access and solutions division at Microsoft. "This is a fairly unique program that we're offering."

In addition to offering partners an extra chunk of cash, Microsoft has set aside $15 million for marketing with partners as well as partner training and support, Brown said. The money is set to be spent over the next 12 months, he said.

Security software, just like CRM applications, is a relatively new market for Microsoft. The vast majority of the company's sales come through third parties, making it crucial to encourage partners to go out and sell.

Microsoft last month announced Forefront, a single brand that encompasses updated and upcoming security products aimed at businesses. The moves are part of Microsoft's attempt to expand its business and tap new revenue sources. Last year, security software sales hit $12 billion, according to research firm IDC.

Part of the Forefront products are the new Microsoft Client Protection, now in development, and updates of Antigen for Exchange and Antigen for SharePoint, which will also carry the Forefront tag. Antigen for Instant Messaging and the ISA Server firewall and Web caching software are also in the Forefront group, Microsoft has said.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, in a speech at the partner event on Tuesday, pointed to security as one of the key new business opportunities that Microsoft is focused on.

The new Security Software Advisor Program is available to members of Microsoft's partner program who are part of the security specialty or qualify for it. Additionally, partners of Sybari Software, which was acquired by Microsoft, and top-tier members of competitor programs qualify, Brown said. About 3,100 companies qualify, he said.

See more CNET content tagged:
CRM, reseller, security, Microsoft Corp.


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
is microsoft doing security a good thing???
i just wondered what peoples thoughts were on microsoft releasing security products... wouldn't this be a conflict of interest - for the end user anyway?

i mean wouldn't it be to microsft's benefit to release insecure products so they can plug the security holes with their other products?

to be honest i'm a little naive about what MS's security products aim to acheive over other rival companies. i've experienced their anti-spyware thing and that essentially plugged holes in IE and kept tabs on its state of affairs aswell as the operating system, but these seem like common sense things that should be incorporated into the op system anyway, especially IE.

i wouldn't consider myself anti-MS in any way but i don't get where they're heading with this. someone please enlighten me...
Posted by squeakstar (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There's a reason
that it's called Mafiasoft. MS doing 'security' software is
essentially a protection racket. They sell you an OS full of
security holes, then sell you software to protect you from those

You have two choices. One, you can pay them or somebody like
Symantec and waste time dealing with the myriad of malware
out there for Windows. The second choice? Don't use Windows.
No other OS has even as much as 2% of the known threats that
Windows has.
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Link Flag
What other ENTIRE MARKETS will be tied to Windows??
Presentation software (Powerpoint)
Word processors

New, "Burgeoning" markets the Antitrust trial was concerned
about (but did nothing):
Digital media tech (media compression, servers and DRM)
Mobil OS (cell phones, PDAs...)
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.