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Desktop Standard Bought by Microsoft -- Mostly

This week, Microsoft announced the acquisition of DesktopStandard Corp. of Portsmouth, N.H. Formerly called AutoProf, the company was known for its line of PolicyMaker group policy tools.

Microsoft acquired the entire company and product line with one exception. DesktopStandard CEO John Moyer hung on to Policy Maker Application Security. In fact, Moyer is using the product as the basis of a spinoff, BeyondTrust, also based in Portsmouth.

The mission of BeyondTrust is "to make the Windows platform the most secure platform out there," Moyer said in an interview Monday.

According to Moyer, "There is too much trust out there.," meaning that users must often be given admin privileges in order to run certain applications, forcing IT to "trust" those users. The result is that these same users are often overrun by spyware and malware.

BeyondTrust’s Privilege Manager is one answer. The tool "elevates the app rather than elevating the user so the app can run," Moyer said. An application that ordinarily needs admin privileges can be elevated to have those privileges, but "nothing else does," Moyer explained.

The trick is to use an extension to Group Policy that can set permissions for applications.

BeyondTrust has some 20 employees, including many from DesktopStandard. "Microsoft is picking up a number of tech folks, but didn’t have a lock on all of them," Moyer said.

BeyondTrust will continue to focus on this whole notion of trust, "helping people get beyond this state of trusting people versus trusting software and systems," Moyer said.

Microsoft hired Desktop Co-Founder and CTO Eric Voskuil, who will become a Microsoft Software Architect.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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