Microsoft may be a desktop software powerhouse, but when it comes to security tools it is still bulking up.
The Redmond, Wash., software giant announced this week that it is setting up security response and research operations in Ireland and Japan and launched a preview of a new online Malware Protection Center. The efforts are meant to make Microsoft, a security industry newcomer, more competitive.
"This is significant. It is part of the globalization of our research and response effort," Mark Miller, director of communications for security response at Microsoft, said on Wednesday.
Microsoft is taking on incumbents such as Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro, the world's top three antivirus companies, to conquer part of the multibillion dollar security market. Industry watchers say Microsoft has done an impressive job building its security organization, though the scaffolding has yet to come off.
"Microsoft is entering a very competitive market and one that is new to them," said Andreas Marx, an antivirus software specialist at the University of Magdeburg in Germany. "It will take several more months until Microsoft's products can be directly compared with those offered by Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro."
Others think it will take much longer.
"It will take some years, perhaps five, for Microsoft to be up to par,"
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