Microsoft Adds to Security Domain

Its purchase of FrontBridge, an email security software maker, is the latest of several similar buys.
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Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

announced the acquisition Wednesday of

FrontBridge Technologies

, a company that makes secure email and messaging software used to protect and manage corporate email systems.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Marina del Rey, Calif.-based FrontBridge's technology helps customers remain compliant with various regulations by managing and archiving emails and instant messages.

Privately owned FrontBridge also protects email systems from external and internal threats through filtering technology and encryption and ensures email availability and recovery of email during disasters with eight data centers around the world.

The acquisition suceeds a handful of others by Microsoft in the security space. With the software behemoth's previous acquisition of

Sybari Software

, Microsoft will be able to give customers a choice of either on-premise or hosted antivirus and antispam products, Microsoft said.

Microsoft and FrontBridge cited the advantages of pairing the email management and security technology with Microsoft's growing Exchange server business.

FrontBridge President and CEO Steve Jillings noted that his team will be able to draw from Microsoft's large base of customers to sell more technology. His company posted about $10 million in sales in 2003 and employed 110 people, according to Hoover's.

Shares of Microsoft rose 6 cents to $26.25 in recent after-hours trading.