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MS goes a bundle on malware protection

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Microsoft is to combine spyware and virus protection in a new enterprise security product due out next year. Microsoft Client Protection will also defend against the emerging threat of rootkits, hacker tools that try to hide themselves from anti-virus programs.

Redmond's decision to offer a combined anti-virus and anti-spyware product contrasts with the industry norm of selling separate pieces of software for both functions. The product will work across business desktops, laptops and file servers. Product delivery dates and pricing remain opaque, which has become something of a recurring theme since Microsoft bought Romanian anti-virus developer GeCAD in 2003. At least, since yesterday, we now have a name for Microsoft's enterprise malware protection software. The consumer equivalent we already know will be the joyosly named Microsoft OneCare.

In related news, Microsoft yesterday announced the creation of the SecureIT Alliance, a group of Redmond's security partners. The SecureIT Alliance will enable security ISVs such as VeriSign, Trend Micro, Symantec and the 30 founding members "to work closer with Microsoft and each other in order to more effectively and efficiently build and integrate their products for the Microsoft platform". ®

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