Microsoft Axes Many Forefront-branded Enterprise Security Products; Renamed FOPE as "Exchange Online Protection"

Microsoft is discontinuing development of many of its Forefront products, as a result of effort to integrate more security capabilities into a number of its other products and services."our effort to better align security and protection solutions with the workloads and applications they protect, Microsoft is announcing changes to the roadmaps of some of the […]

Microsoft is discontinuing development of many of its Forefront products, as a result of effort to integrate more security capabilities into a number of its other products and services.

"our effort to better align security and protection solutions with the workloads and applications they protect, Microsoft is announcing changes to the roadmaps of some of the security solutions made available under the Forefront brand," Microsoft announced.

First, the following products will no more available for purchase as of December 1, 2012:

    • Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server (FPE)
    • Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint (FPSP)
    • Forefront Security for Office Communications Server (FSOCS)
    • Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 (TMG)
    • Forefront Threat Management Gateway Web Protection Services (TMG WPS)

Second, the next release of Forefront Online Protection for Exchange, which has long been part of the Office 365 solution, will be named "Exchange Online Protection."

The company would also be adding a basic antimalware protection to Exchange Server 2013. "This protection can be easily turned off, replaced, or paired with other services (like Exchange Online Protection) to provide a layered defense," Microsoft stated.

Microsoft says, there are no significant changes for Forefront Identity Manager, or Forefront Unified Access Gateway roadmaps. And, these solutions continue to be "actively developed."

Microsoft further notes, it will provide maintenance and support for these discontinued products through the standard Microsoft support lifecycle -- as shown in the char below:

Microsoft support lifecycle chart for discontinued ForeFront products

"For collaboration protection, SharePoint and Lync Servers will continue to offer the built-in security capabilities that many customers use to protect shared documents. For remote access, DirectAccess and Routing and Remote Access Server (RRAS) VPN in Windows Server 2012 provide secure remote access for Windows and cross-platform clients, as well as cross-premise access through site to site VPN. Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG) 2010 also continues to provide secure application publishing and cross-platform SSL VPN remote access for a range of mobile devices," Microsoft stated.