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Microsoft to Buy Sybari

Microsoft signed a definitive agreement to buy anti-virus and anti-spam vendor Sybari Software for an undisclosed sum, the companies said on Tuesday.

Should the deal pass regulatory hurdles, it will be Microsoft's second purchase of a company in the anti-virus security market in two years. But unlike GeCAD Software, which Microsoft bought in June 2003, Sybari is less of a direct competitor to other anti-virus companies.

With Sybari, Microsoft gets a vendor that takes an infrastructural approach to software and relies heavily on anti-virus partners. Sybari does not maintain its own anti-virus engine. Instead, its enterprise-focused anti-virus products license and run multiple scanning engines from anti-virus partners against e-mail messages at the gateway or in the mail server. With the current product, Antigen 8.0, customers have the choice of running from one to four anti-virus engines. Two of the engines are from Computer Associates and one each come from Sophos and Norman.

"Through this acquisition, we're excited to be able to provide customers with a server-level anti-virus solution that delivers advanced file and content-filtering capabilities and the use of multiple scan engines," Mike Nash, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Security Business Unit. Microsoft's IT department has been a Sybari customer since May.

Sybari does much of its business protecting IBM Lotus Domino/Notes environments, and Microsoft's acquisition announcement played up the enterprise value of being able to support both Domino and Exchange environments over the long term.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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