Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Jul 2005 15:14 UTC
Microsoft In more evidence of Microsoft's increased interest in security technology, the software company said on Wednesday that it plans to acquire FrontBridge, a provider of secure messaging services. Microsoft plans to use its acquisition of FrontBridge to deliver a secure, highly availabile e-mail service that will be marketed to companies with limited IT resources, Microsoft said in a statement.
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Umm...
by Dark Leth on Thu 21st Jul 2005 15:42 UTC
Dark Leth
Member since:
2005-07-06

"In more evidence of Microsoft's increased interest in security technology[...]"

Have they even looked at Windows XP Home Edition?

Reply Score: 2

You're reading it wrong
by Knuckles on Thu 21st Jul 2005 15:48 UTC in reply to "Umm..."
Knuckles Member since:
2005-06-29

"Having found a way to extract more money from people and businesses by putting the 'Secure' word in front of a product ..."

They only care about security if they can say "Oh! That's not secure! Buy our new and improved product, it's secure!!", even if they are talking about an older product of theirs...

Business as usual then.

Reply Score: 0

ok, funny side again
by l3v1 on Thu 21st Jul 2005 16:13 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

In more evidence of Microsoft's increased interest in security technology[...]

If that would continue like "[...] Microsoft's Security-On-The-Top-of-Our-List Division acquired two gazillion bodyguards which hey will make available for hire by Windows customers to provide on-site security." then I still wouldn't be surprised.

Reply Score: 1

Dialog of the Zealots
by Anonymous on Thu 21st Jul 2005 16:46 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Anti-MS Zealots: "M$ sucks! Insecure products...poor quality...blah blah blah! Why don't they do something w/ all that money and secure their crappy products!!"

Microsoft: "We're spending a boatload of money, responding to our customers' demands for better security in our products. Security has become our top priority, as you can see."

Anti-MS Zealots: "buh...BWUAH! This is just TYPICAL! They're just trying to cover their asses after releasing crappy, insecure products!! Figures! Business as usual!"

Reply Score: 1

Microsoft innovating
by timosa on Thu 21st Jul 2005 16:47 UTC
timosa
Member since:
2005-07-06

It seems only way for Microsoft to "innovate" is buying smaller innovative companies. Probably innovation level of the acquired companies fades gradually as time passes.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Microsoft innovating
by TaterSalad on Thu 21st Jul 2005 20:32 UTC in reply to "Microsoft innovating"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

Where in the article did it say that this was innovative?

Reply Score: 1

RE: timosa
by Anonymous on Thu 21st Jul 2005 16:53 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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That's quite an assumption. What sort of factual data do you have to solidify that?

If a smaller company is bought by a larger one, usually the core team (if not everyone) involved is retained as part of the larger company to continue their successes for the new parent company.

With expanded resources and capital at their disposal, wouldn't one be more likely to assume that their "innovation" pace would accelerate, not fade?

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: timosa
by rcsteiner on Thu 21st Jul 2005 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE: timosa"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

One would think this to be true, at least in the general case.

Look at the various products and companies that Microsoft has purchased in the past, however, and see just how much "innovation" has been accomplished within the context of those products (or the various former company's respective product lines) since MS acquired them.

Some examples of products acquired (and not developed) by Microsoft would be Visio, Frontpage, PowerPoint, SQL Server, Virtual PC, Hotmail, and of course Internet Explorer and IIS.

That's really the only way to see if it's true in a Microsoft context or not.

Reply Score: 1

test
by Adam S on Thu 21st Jul 2005 18:35 UTC
Adam S
Member since:
2005-04-01

test

Reply Score: 5

RE: test
by JrezIN on Thu 21st Jul 2005 21:06 UTC in reply to "test"
JrezIN Member since:
2005-06-29

Off-topic: What's going on that no posts after the OSN Staff's post can be scored? Is that a new feature, bug or something like that?

Just curious... =]

Reply Score: 1

RE: test
by Johan on Fri 22nd Jul 2005 03:23 UTC in reply to "test"
Johan Member since:
2005-06-30

test

I agree. Thats a very good point you brought up.

Reply Score: 1

That's not security, it's a band-aid
by Anonymous on Thu 21st Jul 2005 18:41 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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The problem as I see it is that they treat security as a technology, a physical thing you can buy. Security is a practice, a way of developing all code with correctness in mind. Buying a band-aid can only do so much good and can only account for the holes that you anticipate. The many unknown holes that are left in the code are not any safer now.

Reply Score: 0

Where is the difference?
by Anonymous on Thu 21st Jul 2005 19:24 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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What is the fundamental difference, if a company buys another product, or, if it develops the product?

In both cases, money is being spent. If you develop it, you pay your developers. If you buy it, you pay the money to the other company, the developers of the other company are getting paid.

Same thing.

And, no work is wasted. Why develop a similiar product, if you can buy it already? Why re-invent the wheel? The result and the amount of money-spending (And that counts in the business world) is in both cases the same.


And by the way, I have never heard, that MS bought forcefuly a product, by a hostile take over as example.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Where is the difference?
by rcsteiner on Thu 21st Jul 2005 21:11 UTC in reply to "Where is the difference?"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

What is the fundamental difference, if a company buys another product, or, if it develops the product?

As a programmer who has been invovled in the development and support of software products in both situations, I can tell you one huge potential difference.

In the latter case, the chances are good that the folks who designed and implemented the product are still around to help support it. Also, lessons learned by developing the original product can be used down the road when creating new features for the same product or even when designing/developing/enhancing other products.

In the former case, the folks who created the product may or may not transfer to the new company, and in the latter case all of the above knowledge is lost (and has to be regained slowly by the acquiring company).

One situation can be easy to build on. The other may not be.

Even if the original designers and developers are kept as part of the original team, there are often other team members introduced by the new company who have different ideas about how to do things (along with the tenure to enforce them). Even basic corporate cultures can vary tremendously and have a fairly large impact on the way ideas are generated, on the way projects are staffed/funded, and on the way the ideas are actually implemented as part of a real product.

I'm sure there are cases where the core team was kept together with the purchased product and was able to operate the same way as before, but my guess is those cases are few and far between...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Where is the difference?
by rcsteiner on Thu 21st Jul 2005 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Where is the difference?"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I see I could have phrased parts of that better. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Where is the difference?
by Anonymous on Fri 22nd Jul 2005 00:38 UTC in reply to "Where is the difference?"
Anonymous Member since:
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In an increasing number of situations MS cannot develop a similar product or they would face a dozen lawsuits claiming they stole the idea.

It's less messy to just buy the company who owns the technology from the git-go, rather than go thru five years of legal BS only to pay to license the technology.

Suing MS has become an industry of it's own. The only thing keeping open source products out of the court system is the lack of money held by the developers, though you will begin to see cases filed none the less.

Reply Score: 0

Re: RE: timosa
by Anonymous on Thu 21st Jul 2005 19:42 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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The main problem with acquisitions is that the company that innovated in the first place ceases to exist and just becomes another division of the usually bigger and slower moving company.

Never underestimate the effect that a significant change in corporate culture can make. Take for example Computer Associates. They have a history of buying small innovative firms in order to grow and expand their product line. The people, who were once in charge, however lose much of their influence and are subject to the demands of their new upper management who most likely have a different vision for their product.

The product may continue to exist, but it will most likely go in a different direction than the original authors previously intended.

Reply Score: 0

Microsoft up to their old tricks again
by pravda on Fri 22nd Jul 2005 12:25 UTC
pravda
Member since:
2005-07-06

The following is excerpted from an interview with Gregor Freund, the leader of Zone Labs. I would bet that this new email service will be another instance of Microsoft "wanting" to provide a service, but the "temptation" to read the email of their competitors or other companies they are interested in will be "too much".

----

Freund: No, I don't think so. I think to some extent, I think it's a mistake [for Microsoft] to focus on building security software, because that's really done very well by independent companies. I really wish they'd focus on the core of their applications, and the core of the operating system. Still, every month, I'm getting this long list of vulnerabilities, and we've seen quicker and quicker exploits of these vulnerabilities, often within days. This is a long list of things they need to worry about before they try to compete.

Don't forget that cyber-security and, quote/unquote, "real-world security" aren't all that different. We know that very secure countries tend to spend a lot more on security. If you go to Switzerland, the trains are well lit, they're making a lot of things very secure, and still, they're spending a lot more on police than other countries. So normally, a secure environment creates more of an awareness. I firmly believe there's a need for an industry that focuses on creating a layer on top of everything else, of the operating system, of applications; and at the same time, there's just as much need of securing the applications, and the operating system, and frankly writing better code to avoid a lot of these security holes. I don't really think that the one thing is going to replace the other.

THG: In this new industry that you're talking about, does Microsoft play a leadership role, or does it play a membership role?

Freund: We'll see what role Microsoft plays. I think that it's very, very hard to do both at the same time. On the one hand, you've got an inherent conflict. There's a reason why, in the real world, we separate police and security guard functions from productivity functions. Think about it: You could come up with [a plan] to save some money here by having all the cab drivers all be cops. Then you can decide, are they going to pick up the fare or are they going to chase down the bad guy? You run into a lot of inherent conflict if you try to do both at the same time.

A good example was a couple of weeks ago, when Microsoft decided to look at buying one of the largest spyware companies, Claria. Within days, the spyware from that company disappeared from, or was reclassified in, the Microsoft anti-spyware product, because now, while they're talking and sitting around the table and thinking about buying this guy, they can't at the same time classify them as malicious. So you see that, very quickly, your resolve to provide good security gets compromised by conflicting business goals.

http://www.tomshardware.com/hardnews/20050721_103611.html

Reply Score: 1