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September RCP: Aux Armes, Microsoft and Symantec!

There was a time, of course, when Microsoft couldn't do without vendors like Symantec (and maybe it still can't -- but that remains to be seen). Big security players were the cops who kept Windows from looking like some dark, dangerous, back-alley operating system and held most -- if definitely not all -- of the attacks that threatened various versions of the OS at bay. Windows needed security, and Symantec and friends happily -- and profitably -- provided it. And they still do.

But if there are three things that are inevitable in life, they are these: death, taxes and Microsoft invading its partners' markets. It's Symantec's turn now, as Redmond has launched its Forefront suite in an attempt to unseat the leader in enterprise endpoint security. From now on, these old friends will also be rivals, taking up arms like two great empires preparing for battle -- while still collaborating to stave off threats to Windows.

Partners, of course, are caught in the middle of this impending war -- and profitably so, if they play both sides well enough. In this month's RCP, we use plenty of historical allusions to describe the battle between Microsoft and Symantec and how it will affect both companies' partners.

And here's a little teaser to get you to click the link -- an excerpt from an exclusive interview with Symantec CEO John Thompson, who weaves a subtle tapestry of words in his description of Forefront (just in case you doubted the presence of rancor in this new-world relationship):

"When the hype settles down, people have to settle into the pragmatic reality, which is that [Microsoft's] product sucks."

Oh, it's on now!

What's your take on Microsoft Forefront and Symantec? Sound off at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 09/07/2007 at 1:21 PM


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