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Microsoft Releases Beta of Integrated Security System Forefront 'Stirling'

Innovative solution offers comprehensive, coordinated protection and centralized management for businesses.

SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today at RSA Conference 2008, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of the public beta release of its next-generation Microsoft Forefront security solution, currently code-named "Stirling." Microsoft Forefront "Stirling" is an integrated security system that is designed to deliver comprehensive, coordinated protection, making it easy to control, access and manage security capabilities across an organization's IT infrastructure.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

Customers can begin evaluating Forefront "Stirling" today by downloading it from http://www.microsoft.com/stirling or by getting a copy at Microsoft's booth at RSA Conference 2008. Forefront "Stirling" is scheduled for release to market in the first half of 2009.

Forefront "Stirling" includes a central management console for security configuration and enterprisewide visibility, combined with the next-generation Forefront products that span the client, server and network edge. They include Forefront Client Security, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Forefront Security for SharePoint and the next generation of Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server), Forefront Threat Management Gateway.

"Customers tell us that IT security is becoming increasingly complex, with multiple point solutions and management consoles creating both a financial and management headache for businesses today," said Ryan Hamlin, general manager in the Access and Security Division of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Microsoft is focused on reducing that burden for customers. By taking an integrated solutions approach that combines IT security, identity and access with systems management capabilities at the foundational level, and by delivering innovative products like Forefront 'Stirling,' we are providing dynamic protection and response capabilities that help customers secure their business while also saving time and reducing costs."

"Our research shows IT departments are demanding integration between individual security technologies," said Chris Christiansen, program vice president for Security Products and Services, IDC. "Products like Forefront 'Stirling' will play a key role in reducing administrative and support costs and, ultimately, reducing the total cost of ownership of managing multiple security technologies."

A central element of Microsoft's infrastructure integration approach is Dynamic Response, an innovative Microsoft technology built into each component of Forefront "Stirling" that allows the entire system to share and use security information to automatically respond to and resolve threats across multiple layers of the IT infrastructure. With such threats continuing to increase in frequency, Dynamic Response is designed to help businesses proactively protect their IT environment and respond more quickly. In fact, Microsoft's June 2007 Security Intelligence Report found that the latest malware families were spawning tens of thousands of variants each year.

"Enterprise customers today are looking for a more comprehensive, better integrated and easier-to-manage security solution," said Chris Lavelle, vice president for Idea Integration Corp., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner systems integrator and a Forefront "Stirling" beta program participant. "Forefront 'Stirling' integrates security technologies as part of a centralized approach to desktop, server and network management, enabling customers to take advantage of information gathered at any point in the network to help better protect and manage the environment as a whole. The benefit to customers is not just centralized visibility and control, but also information that can be used to guide policy."

Microsoft also today announced the name of its next-generation network edge security product, Forefront Threat Management Gateway. Forefront Threat Management Gateway is the future version of Microsoft ISA Server and will extend the capabilities of ISA Server 2006 with new features and security technologies, designed to help provide multiple-threat protection, simplified management and secure connectivity, and will be built on Windows Server 2008. More details about Forefront Threat Management Gateway will be available later this year.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: Rapid Response Team of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide,
+1-503-443-7070, [email protected], for Microsoft Corp.

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/

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