The Redmond Giant is taking on top dogs such as Symantec, Trend Micro, and Mcaffe as it makes its entry into corporate desktop security. Microsoft has been very successful with its beta consumer desktop security product Windows OneCare Live. It is a subscription-based model that handles your antivirus/antispyware protection, combined with PC health tools such as Automatic Defrag and the ability to back up your system.  Now that they have tackled the consumer industry, they want to really make headway in the corporate sector of security products. Microsoft Client Protection will meet your corporate server and desktop security needs.

Microsoft Client Protection differs in that it is made for the corporate world; it will protect corporate desktop computers and servers from viruses, spyware, and rootkits. Microsoft Client Protection will also tie directly into your Active Directory infrastructure and provide your company with a central management for overall administration.  Furthermore, Microsoft Client Protection will integrate seamlessly within your Microsoft infrastructure. If you have an existing software distribution Microsoft Client Protection can fully take advantage of it. If you do not currently own a software distribution package, Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) will be bundled with Microsoft Client Protection.

Many of you are already tied tightly to Microsoft products. You probably have license agreements set up with Microsoft. It makes good business sense to allow Microsoft products to handle your security if you already have several Microsoft products currently in your environment. You may be better off financially going with Microsoft Client Protection as Microsoft may cut you a licensing deal for running multiple Microsoft products. As far as I am concerned, moving towards a product like this is an easy sell if most of your infrastructure contains Microsoft server and desktop products.

What about implementation?

You may already have a handful of experts on hand to help implement Microsoft Client Protection into your environment. By sticking with a Microsoft product, you will not have to get training and buy in from your IT staff to learn a whole new security product or way of thinking. It is a win, win solution to your security needs for everyone from management to IT Administrators, and down to the corporate desktop user. Give them what they are used to in order to make their lives integrate easily into this product without excessive training.

What does Microsoft Client Protection require?

It will require Windows 2003 Server SP1 or Windows 2000 Server SP4. The software is aimed to protect Windows 2000 SP4, Window XP SP2 or later, Windows 2003, and Windows Vista\Longhorn Server.

I believe when Microsoft Client Protection debuts in the first or second half of 2006, many will implement due to its seamless integration and ease of use. Let’s be honest, if your IT staff could spend less time on viruses, malware, and spyware and more time in other mission critical IT needs, wouldn’t you make the leap?