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Microsoft Unveils New Management And Security Tools

Microsoft also introduced System Center Essentials 2007, a unified management solution to help IT pros in midsize organizations more efficiently manage their technology environments.
Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled a range of new infrastructure management and security tools designed to help businesses more efficiently control their IT assets while fending off viruses, malware, and other cyberthreats.

The company's new Forefront Client Security software is designed to warn IT security managers about emerging threats and vulnerabilities through a central management interface that integrates with System Center solutions, Active Directory directory services, and other Microsoft technologies.

Microsoft said the offering has achieved West Coast Labs Checkmark certification, a global standard that certifies information security products to a range of commonly used protocols.

Microsoft also introduced System Center Essentials 2007, a unified management solution to help IT pros in midsize organizations more efficiently manage their technology environments. The software is designed to simplify and automate a broad set of tasks through a single console from which IT managers can view and maintain servers, clients, hardware and software.

Forefront Client Security is licensed on a per-user, per-device basis, starting at $12.72 per user or device per year for the security agent and at $2,468 per year for the management console. The product is available for purchase as of Wednesday as part of the Microsoft Enterprise Client Access License suite via Microsoft Volume Licensing, with stand-alone product availability in July through standard Microsoft volume licensing channels.

Microsoft is selling System Center Essentials as a management server with built-in support to manage 50 clients and 10 servers starting at $2,000. Customers can add up to 500 clients in increments of 20 or five Management Licenses (MLs), priced at $400 and $100 respectively, and up to 30 servers in increments of five and one ML, priced at $500 and $100 respectively. The product will be available in July via standard Microsoft volume licensing and retail channels, according to Microsoft.