Frontbridge Acquisition by Microsoft: Part of a Hosted Pattern

The acquisition of Frontbridge by Microsoft certainly looks like its part of a pattern, but not the pattern you might think.

On one hand, Frontbridge looks like it’s part of the Microsoft pattern of acquiring companies in the anti-virus, anti-spam and security markets. The examples here are well-known: anti-virus from GeCAD, anti-spyware from Giant, and anti-spam and security from Sybari.

But look at it another way. It’s becoming a hosted, on-demand world. Certainly the Frontbridge acquisition validates the customer need for hosted email security and compliance. But also recall Outlook Live the offering from MSN where you can get the power of Outlook against the MSN service. That’s targeted at small business who may not have the resources to deploy and manage an Exchange server.  In addition, Microsoft announced that MS CRM 3.0< (Customer Relationship Manager) would be available either as a traditional software installation at the customer, or as a hosted service via partners, ala the popular salesforce.com

Microsoft has been making progress over the last several years working with hosted service providers and ISPs on licensing and packing for hosted Exchange server.  Based on recent events, that usage model seems to be getting more attractive for customers of all types.

Author: Chris Williams

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