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Microsoft Launches Enterprise Security Ad Campaign

Microsoft Corp. is touting the ease-of-use of its Forefront line of security solutions and server products for businesses through a new advertising campaign. The campaign features a Flash movie site with actors dressed as aliens, ninjas and zombies, who represent security threats.

The somewhat lengthy "Easy, Easier" ad campaign is viewable at www.easyeasier.com.

Microsoft's ad campaign, to be delivered across 28 markets worldwide, aims to broadcast the simplicity-for-security idea that Microsoft wants to associate with Forefront.

"We've heard loud and clear from business customers that security products not only need to provide the greatest level of protection but also must be easy to manage and integrate with existing infrastructure," stated Steve Brown, director of product management for security and access product management at Microsoft.

Forefront products are a partially rebranded suite of security applications and servers that was launched 10 months ago. Products in the Forefront line can be purchased as individual components or as a complete suite that is designed to protect businesses at the client, server and edge portions of the network.

The client security component, Forefront Client Security, is currently in beta release and provides protection for laptops and desktops against malware and viruses. It features centralized management to define one policy for various computers.

At the server level, Microsoft has combined the equivalent of three of its Antigen products into the new Forefront Security for Exchange Server. Another server component of the product line is Forefront Security for SharePoint. A third server solution, Forefront Security for Office Communications, is planned for release in the first half of this year.

At the network edge, Microsoft offers security protection via two products. The products, which currently lack the Forefront name, include Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2006 and Intelligent Application Gateway 2007.

The Forefront rebranding effort was initiated, in part, to distinguish Microsoft's enterprise-level security products from its more consumer-oriented products, such as Windows Live OneCare and Windows Defender.

Microsoft offers four licensing plans for Forefront:

  • Open License for small to mid-size organizations with less than 250 desktop PCs;
  • Select License for mid-size and large organizations with 250 or more desktop PCs;
  • Enterprise Agreement for large organizations with 250 or more desktop PCs; and
  • Enterprise Subscription Agreement for large organizations with 250 or more desktop PCs. This latter option allows a company to subscribe, rather than purchase, Microsoft software licenses.

Forefront products will be available as part of the Enterprise CAL suite and Exchange Enterprise CAL suite.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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