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Microsoft to sell antivirus software separately

Standalone Sybari products still available

Microsoft has completed its acquisition of antivirus vendor Sybari Software, and will continue selling its products on a standalone basis.

Microsoft will offer a host of Sybari products for Windows, including Antigen for Microsoft Exchange, Antigen for Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services, Antigen for Instant Messaging and Antigen for SMTP Gateways.

At the same time, however, Microsoft will discontinue selling versions of Antigen for Lotus Domino running on Unix and Linux platforms. The vendor will continue to support current users of those versions.

A Microsoft spokesperson described the move as a business decision, since only a "very, very small percentage" of Sybari software is sold for these operating systems. She added that the company will continue to sell Antigen products for Lotus Domino running on Windows, easing concerns that Sybari's software will become an Exchange-only product.

Although Microsoft purchased Sybari primarily as a way to protect users of Exchange, SharePoint portal and SharePoint services from viruses and spam, the company is mulling the possibility that other Sybari software properties might be used across different Microsoft products.

In addition to antivirus and antispam software, Sybari also offers Enterprise Management, software that allows administrators to manage and monitor multiple Sybari technologies running on a system.

The software giant will have more to say in the future about any plans to leverage Enterprise Management across Microsoft infrastructure once the product engineering teams develop a strategy.

Microsoft originally announced its intention to acquire Sybari in February to provide server-level antivirus security in light of numerous virus attacks against its Exchange email server.

Microsoft previously purchased antivirus vendor GeCAD Software in June 2003, and plans to leverage GeCAD's antivirus scanning engine for use with Antigen products. Sybari offers customers a choice of third-party scanning engines rather than providing its own.

In addition to GeCAD, Microsoft also will continue to offer third-party scanning engines, such as those from Sophos and Computer Associates International, with Sybari software.


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