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Microsoft Will Open Security Research Centers Outside U.S.

With plans to expand its security research teams, Microsoft has announced that it will open some such new centers in Europe and Asia. These centers will be the first ones out side the U.S. The company will use the centers to watch over security threats emerging over time. The teams will also support security threat business like Windows Live OneCare that has been facing criticisms.

Microsoft is set to make itself a global organization, said Vincent Gullotto, general manager of security research and response at Microsoft in an interview at the RSA Conference. The software giant plans to build sites in regions that would include the Americas, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and Asia. These sites will aim to protect customers and bolster people who use Microsoft's multiple security products, said Gullotto.

Gullotto wards off the criticism that arose as a result of the poor performance of Microsoft's OneCare software during a test of Vista's anti-virus solutions. Virus Bulletin, a U.K.-based security publication initiated this test recently.

Gullotto said their anti-virus products missed one virus in Virus Bulletin's list. Although this is not a very big issue but it is not good either, commented Gullotto. For, people might think their protection is not at its highest level.

The expansion will make Microsoft more competitive. While the company began marketing its Windows Live OneCare anti-virus software in 2006, its Forefront Client Security software designed for business is set for release in the second quarter of 2007.

Gullotto has already initiated to spread his team outside the U.S. He has hired Katrin Tocheva to head the company's European operations. Tocheva is a well-known anti-virus researcher who was associated with F-Secure. Gullotto himself is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having stints at Symantec and McAfee. Microsoft has also hired Jimmy Kuo, a veteran from McAfee.

Microsoft has other motivations behind this expansion. Since, not long the company has been working closely with police forces worldwide in the area of prosecutions of cyber crime. Although, the company has never disclosed how they gather evidence for them, the expansion could increase such activity of the company.

Related article: Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails

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