Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

made yet another acquisition in the security arena Monday with its purchase of a small Canadian software maker of identity management systems, including smart-card technology.

With its acquisition of Ottawa, Canada-based Alacris, Microsoft gains technology that helps IT departments deploy and manage smart-card systems in Windows-based environments. Privately held Alacris, founded in 1998, posted $2.3 million in sales and had 21 employees in 2004, according to Hoover's.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Microsoft plans to announce the availability of a beta version of Alacris' technologies at a later date.

Alacris' competitors include

RSA Security

( RSAS),

VeriSign

(VRSN) - Get Report

and

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

.

Shares of Microsoft recently edged up 7 cents to $26.14. Shares of RSA fell 40 cents, or 2.9%, to $13.29; VeriSign was up a penny at $22.03; and CA was down 14 cents, or 0.5%, at $27.68.

Alacris is just the latest in a string of security acquisitions for the world's largest software maker. Others included email security software maker FrontBridge Technologies in July; antivirus software maker Sybari in February; antispyware software maker Giant Company Software in December; and antivirus software maker GeCAD Software in 2003.