February 8, 2005 10:16 AM PST

Microsoft to buy antivirus software firm

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Microsoft plans to acquire Sybari Software, marking its latest effort to bolster its presence in the corporate security market.

Sybari, a privately held company based in East Northport, N.Y., develops security software that can be used with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes messaging servers. Sybari's technology is designed to fight viruses, worms and spam, with such products as Antigen file-filtering.

"Through this acquisition, we're excited...to provide customers with a server-level antivirus solution that delivers advanced file- and content-filtering capabilities," Mike Nash, vice president of Microsoft's Security Business and Technology Unit, said in a statement Tuesday.

Sybari sells technology that enables customers to run antivirus or spam-blocking software from other vendors on top of its own products, analysts said.

"Microsoft can put its Microsoft antivirus engine on top of Sybari, or a customer can continue to use Symantec's and McAfee's antivirus engines," IDC analyst Charles Kolodgy said.

The benefit for Microsoft is it gives the software giant a "much needed platform" to provide content security for its Exchange messaging servers at the gateway, Kolodgy added.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Microsoft did not release a schedule for closing the transaction, but noted that Sybari will maintain its current operations until regulatory approval is obtained.

The plan to acquire Sybari is part of the software titan's larger effort to strengthen its presence in security.

Microsoft already owns some antivirus technology, which it bought from Romania's GeCad in 2003, but it has not yet released its own antivirus product. Two months ago, Microsoft announced plans to acquire anti-spyware vendor Giant Company Software.

8 comments

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Is it just me?
1) Has Microsoft given up on being able to provide secure environments on its own?

2) Will Microsoft be selling these anti-virus services, along with anti-spyware? Ironic that they wouldn't need to sell this software if they were in the business of developing secure software to begin with. Leave it to the Evil Empire to figure out a way to make money from one of their core weaknesses!
Posted by gefitz (1116 comments )
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Microsoft clearly can't handle anything on their own....
I find it rather "revealing" that Microsoft has to acquire companies in order to make its products better. First, the antispyware software company Giant, and now a whole computer security company. Doesn't this mean that most of their own programmers are highly incompetent when it comes to securing their own software? I definitely think so!
Posted by hion2000 (115 comments )
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I Don't Think That's Fair...
I don't think you are being fair. Microsoft is not the only company that buys other companies to expand its product line. Grant you Microsoft is and can be the biggest ass of all but I think if they want to get things like anti-virus and anti-spyware software out to their customers buying another company and improving on that is smart and the quickest way to go.

Also, since it appears Microsoft can't debug their own products do you really want Microsoft to start these from scratch or go with a better more solid base? I will take the solid base.

What concerns me most is that Microsoft will charge for these when they should be free because it is Microsoft's own doing that make these kinds of programs needed to protect their security hole riddled software.

If they plan to bundle them with say Longhorn free of charge hey great. But, if they plan to charge I think I see another law suite coming for them.

Robert
Posted by (336 comments )
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Watch out Symantec...
Microsofts acommin'.

I doubt Microsoft purchase an Antivirus company to secure it's own products. I would come closer to believing they they are planning on shutting down some of the smaller antivirus companies. Same scenerio for the anti-spyware company they purchased.

They should not be allowed to bundle either the antivirus or anti-spyware programs with Windows or Office. They should not be allowed to add it to there Windows update (however it can be update via Windows update).

Although this is a stretch, I don't think they should be allowed to give either of them away. I know that sound funny, but that's how they have put so many others out of business. They shouldn't be allowed to charge anything less than any other major competitor.

If they are allowed to give it away and include it in Windows, Office, or an easy download via Windows update then every company that makes security software should ban together and just sue the crap out of them.

I maybe jumping the gun here, but this crap has got to stop. Microsoft, or any company like this, should not be allowed to use there dominence to squash competition and control markets. For those of you who think Microsoft doesn't do that just think IE. They did it then, got sued, lost, and will do it again.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
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Bye bye antivirus vendors...
These apps were once not bundled/commingled with Windows:

Internet Browser - Mosaic/Netscape
e-mail
"Word" - processor
PowerPoint - slide presentations
media plugin - multimedia player
spreadsheet - visicalc
CPM knockoff - "MS" DOS
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And
But some of those apps still don't come with Windows.
Posted by (79 comments )
Link Flag
Antivirus EMPLOYEES nervous about jobs
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cbronline.com/article_news.asp?guid=FFB90845" target="_newWindow">http://www.cbronline.com/article_news.asp?guid=FFB90845</a>
-181F-48D5-9743-7FE8E7068B68
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Link Flag
 

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