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Mon 20 Dec 2004 04:00 AM

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Hotmail favours Trend Micro

MSN’s Hotmail service, used by almost 200 million people worldwide, has signed up security vendor Trend Micro as its antivirus partner in preference to offerings from rival vendor McAfee.

MSN’s Hotmail service, used by almost 200 million people worldwide, has signed up security vendor Trend Micro as its antivirus partner in preference to offerings from rival vendor McAfee.

Trend Micro, which announced the agreement with Microsoft today, will provide antivirus scanning and cleaning protection for the MSN Hotmail Web-based service’s 187 million email accounts. McAfee had previously handled the antivirus contract for MSN over a period of several years. The reasons for the switch were not revealed by Microsoft.

Justin Doo, managing director at Trend Micro Middle East, gave his own opinion on why Trend Micro had ousted rival McAfee. “If you look at the antivirus space we are market leaders in many industry segments. Performance is a key issue for Microsoft and they don’t tend to endorse other products so this is a major breakthrough for us, especially as their relationship with McAfee goes back a few years. When you are dealing with 200 million customers you need a serious amount of hardware and anything they can get to maximise hardware performance is obviously a better investment for them.”

Customers of Microsoft’s web-based email service will now receive automatic protection anytime they send and receive email attachments via Trend Micro’s scanning and detection services.

Doo also revealed that the move has already had a knock on effect on the region’s internet service providers (ISP), despite the news only being made public today. “ISPs here are looking at their own cost savings and while I am not able to name names I have been having discussions with companies that do use our rival’s software. They have been buoyed up by the announcement and believe this will give us a competitive advantage which we would be fools not to use.”

Trend Micro has been working on expanding Middle East channels following its tie-up with networking giant Cisco a few months ago, and the Microsoft deal should also give a boost to Trend’s expansion plans as it looks to establish itself as the number one security vendor in the region.

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