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New Microsoft Identity Manager Product Arriving in 2015

Microsoft's next release of its Forefront Identity Manager product is scheduled for the first half of next year, and it will be renamed "Microsoft Identity Manager" at that time.

With the new product, Microsoft plans to focus on enabling hybrid cloud support. It will be designed to tap Microsoft Azure capabilities, such as multifactor authentication and Microsoft Azure Active Directory, according to Microsoft's announcement on Wednesday.

The new product also will include support for mobile devices. It will have functionality improvements in terms of security and analytics, as well as user access controls, according to the announcement.

The company plans to describe the nuances of those details at its TechEd North America event on May 14.

The product name change to Microsoft Identity Manager isn't surprising, but when it does take effect, it will signify an end to Microsoft's Forefront brand. For years, Microsoft maintained a whole family of Forefront enterprise security products, but the company announced the end the sales of most of those products back in 2012, citing market conditions as the rationale.

The two Forefront products that were expected to continue at that time were Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 and Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 SP2. However, Microsoft subsequently announced in mid-December that it was also discontinuing sales of the Forefront Unified Access Gateway product, starting on July 1, 2014.

Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 did get a Service Pack 4 update in late November that added Windows 8.1 compatibility. Despite its planned phase out, the Gateway product still has some life in it, with "extended support" ending in April 2020.

About the Author

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

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