Hi, my name is Mike Chan and I’m the product manager for Forefront Security for Exchange Server. I’ve been on the job for a couple of months now and after talking to many customers I’ve noticed that there is still some confusion in the marketplace regarding the naming and relationship between Microsoft’s security solutions. First off, some basics. Within Microsoft, there is an antimalware group that produces signatures and an engine, very similar to the traditional anti-malware vendors. This group provides the engine and signatures for both our consumer and small business oriented solution (Windows Live OneCare) as well as our medium and large business oriented solutions (Forefront Security). I recently read an article where the author dinged Microsoft because there was no integration between our Windows Live OneCare and Forefront Security solutions. The author’s assertion was that they should integrate, but I beg to differ. They both utilize an integrated engine, but at the end of the day, the solutions are targeted at different end customers which have very distinct needs and integrating them would not benefit either customer. I liken it to saying why isn’t my Microsoft Money integrated with SAP? I would say, “why?”.
Now on to the other area where I hear there is a bit of confusion. When customers hear the words “Forefront” – most think about our security solutions for businesses, but then they also assume that we are talking about the client protection technologies. Microsoft in fact has multiple solutions with the Forefront branding. On one hand you have Forefront Client Security – which is our antimalware technology for your desktops, servers and laptops, similar to the traditional AV client, designed to protect the host computer. However, we also have a line of Forefront Server Security products – of which Forefront Security for Exchange Server (FSES) is one. The Forefront Server Security products have an additional distinction of running multiple antimalware engines – along with the Microsoft antimalware engine listed above which gives our solution the edge when it comes to protecting your email. The moral of the story? Next time someone says, “Forefront” – you can be the wiser and ask them if they’re referring to client technologies or server technologies!