Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 Now Available

Microsoft today announced that its Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) 2010 product is available for evaluation.

This client security solution is available at Microsoft's "release-to-manufacturing" stage, typically meaning that it's ready for imaging or installing on hardware. It follows a beta release announced in July. Microsoft plans to make the product available to Microsoft volume licensing customers for download on Jan. 1, according to the company's announcement.

FEP 2010, which succeeds Microsoft's Forefront Client Security offering, is designed to work with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007. Microsoft's idea in linking the two products is to solve fragmentation problems that may exist in some IT organizations. Fragmentation can occur because desktop management and desktop security responsibilities are traditionally overseen by different personnel.

The concept of improving IT desktop support by combining FEP 2010 with System Center Configuration Manager 2007 is explained at this Microsoft Web page. Microsoft claims in its blog announcement that those organizations selecting Microsoft's Enterprise client access license option will "automatically get access to all the licenses they need to implement the solution," combining both products.

Overall, Microsoft has three client security protection solutions that are either available now or in the works. Those solutions include FEP for the enterprise, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) for Windows consumer users and Windows Intune, a hosted PC management and security solution for small-to-medium businesses that's expected to be available sometime next year. In addition to the release of FEP 2010, Microsoft announced MSE 2010's availability in a blog post. Both FEP 2010 and MSE 2010 use the same Microsoft security engine developed for protection against viruses and malware.

The FEP 2010 Security Management Pack was released, according to the blog. This Management Pack helps support "real-time server monitoring" in conjunction with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. It provides out-of-the-box support for the security settings used with "the top 16 Microsoft server workloads and roles," the blog explains.

The evaluation version of FEP 2010 can be accessed here. Microsoft also provides TechNet library articles describing features and system requirements. The company is also ramping up its TechNet wiki, according to this blog.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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