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ISA 2006 Beta Bows

Microsoft is shipping the first beta of Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA) 2006, as well as early select customer betas of its Microsoft Client Protection and Microsoft Antigen for Exchange products.

ISA Server 2006 will provide an integrated application layer firewall with VPN, proxy and Web-caching. "ISA Server 2006 includes a comprehensive tool set for publishing Exchange and SharePoint servers and extensions to Windows Server 2003 R2 for streamlined security and connectivity in corporate branch offices," says a Microsoft statement.

Microsoft Client Protection is designed to protect business desktops, laptops and servers from emerging threats such as spyware and rootkits, as well as viruses and other traditional attacks, according to the statement. It features an integrated management console that provides centralized control and reporting. And it ties into existing Microsoft IT infrastructure including Active Directory and other software distribution systems. A full-featured public beta is planned for the third quarter, with final shipment by the end of the year.

Microsoft also introduced a small beta release of its Antigen tools. Acquired with Sybari last year, they're designed to provide server-level protection for messaging and collaboration environments. Microsoft Antigen for Exchange, Antigen for SMTP Gateways, Antigen Spam Manager and Antigen Enterprise Manager are the first Microsoft-branded versions of the former Sybari products. The Antigen tools are set to ship within six months.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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