Microsoft scoops up antivirus technology

In an announcement that could send reverberations throughout the antivirus software world, Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday that it was acquiring antivirus technology from a small Romanian company, GeCAD Software Srl of Bucharest, Romania.

In a statement, the Redmond, Wash., company said that it was acquiring the “intellectual property and technology assets” of GeCAD. Details of the purchase were not provided.

Calls to GeCAD were not answered.

GeCAD makes RAV Antivirus, a family of security products that includes antivirus, antispam and content filtering technology for service providers, enterprises and home users.

Microsoft will use the GeCAD technology to provide antivirus “solutions” for Microsoft products and services, Microsoft said.

GeCAD engineers will also help the company open the Windows platform for closer integration with other antivirus software vendors, the company said.

While Microsoft did not provide a timeline or pricing information for the “solutions” it will be developing, the company did say that GeCAD technology would be used to help keep Windows users up to date with virus signatures and to develop a new generation of antivirus tools for “evolving threat models.”

In a statement attributed to Mike Nash, corporate vice-president for Microsoft’s Security Business Unit, the company said that the acquisition of GeCAD will help Microsoft and its partners mitigate the risks of viruses and malicious code.

With its products and operating systems the frequent target of virus writers, Microsoft is devoting an increasing amount of attention to antivirus technology in recent months.

In May, for example, the company joined with antivirus vendors Network Associates Inc. and Trend Micro Inc. to form the Virus Information Alliance in an effort to keep users better informed about virus threats to Microsoft products.

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