Microsoft has purchased "PhoneFactor," a provider of phone-based, two-factor authentication offerings, for an undisclosed amount, the companies announced on October 4.
For those of you not familiar "PhoneFactor, is an industry leader in phone-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) and their solutions bring a unique blend of security and convenience to our developers, partners and customers." The current line up of Phone Factor's includes authentication plug-ins and products for IBM Tivoli; Citrix; PingFederate; and VMWare View, among others.
Microsoft is pitching the deal as helping the company provide "a broader range of authentication services to Microsoft's cloud customers." But, PhoneFactor's solutions can be implemented to help Microsoft customers protect data in SharePoint, on their file servers and with their critical business apps running on-premises.
Of course, "we will continue to work with other security partners in the industry to offer a broad array of multi-factor and strong authentication solutions to best meet the wide-ranging and unique security requirements of our customers," Microsoft stated. In addition, they can be used to enhance the security of applications running in the cloud.
PhoneFactor already works with many Microsoft products and services, including Outlook Web Access and Internet Information Services, and according to Microsoft, the acquisition will drive further integration with key Microsoft technologies like "Active Directory, Windows Azure Active Directory and Office 365," making it even easier for customers to protect their on-premises and cloud assets.
Also, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble's joint venture, formerly called "NewCo," is now officially known as "Nook Media LLC," a subsidiary of B&N.
The venture has received final regulatory approval on October 4, according to a press release issued stating, "Microsoft and Barnes & Noble's strategic partnership in NOOK Media LLC will enable the companies to advance world-class digital reading experiences to the hundreds of millions of customers they jointly serve."
Nook Media LLC includes the digital and college businesses of Barnes & Noble. And, it is backed by a $300 million investment that Microsoft made in NOOK Media LLC. According to press, Nook Media "will continue to have a very close and mutually beneficial relationship with Barnes & Noble's retail stores."
It's also not known exactly what Nook Media will provide, beyond a promised Windows 8 Nook app. As there's no news of a "Wook" (Windows-based Nook).
Also, this morning Microsoft announced "the addition of 99 new schools to its Innovative Schools program, including eight from the United States."
"The 99 new Pathfinder Schools and Mentor Schools from 51 countries were chosen because they have strong school leadership and have established a record of innovation and successful change implementation. The U.S. schools were selected from Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington," Microsoft announced in a press release.
And, finally, according to reports doing the rounds of web today, Microsoft is in talks to acquire Rdio:
"We're hearing whispers from certain sources over here in Europe that Microsoft is presently in talks to acquire San Francisco-based digital music streaming, subscription and discovery service company Rdio.
We're still digging, and our contacts within the two organizations are keeping mum on this for now, but we're running the rumor because those talks are likely actually taking place, and because an eventual deal would make sense for both parties," reports The Next Web.