Microsoft Kills Some Forefront Security Software Products
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has quietly killed portions of its Forefront security software portfolio. At the same time, the software giant is integrating more security capabilities directly into Exchange Server. What are the implications for channel partners? Here’s The VAR Guy’s spin on the situation.
First and foremost, Forefront security solutions haven’t exactly gained mainstream success with channel partners and customers There are too many different Forefront products. Plus, Microsoft’s core products (Windows and Office) have never really been known for secure designs. In many cases, CIOs and channel partners did not want to shift another software line item — particularly security — in Microsoft’s direction.
But there’s another trend here that MSPs and VARs should not overlook. Microsoft’s server and cloud applications are gaining more and more built-in security capabilities. As customers increasingly embrace Office 365, for instance, they will assume that the service has anti-malware, anti-spyware and other security filtering capabilities built right in. The same is true for Google Apps, which is gradually absorbing Postini email security services.
For channel partners the news is mixed: Some standalone security products could disappear forever. Among those that Microsoft will kill:
- Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server (FPE)
- Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint (FPSP)
- Forefront Security for Office Communications Server (FSOCS)
- Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 (TMG)
- Forefront Threat Management Gateway Web Protection Services (TMG WPS)
But product inflection points also spell opportunity for MSPs and VARs. As customers hear about Microsoft’s changing security software portfolio, it’s a prime opportunity for partners to conduct security assessments for customers.