For those of you that have a close eye on the industry, then you may well have seen the latest Gartner report which comments on where we (Microsoft) are going with our Messaging story. It's a great story and should not be dismissed:

You can access the full report and Quadrant here, but here's the crux:

"REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 27, 2006 — Microsoft Corp is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of the 2006 E-Mail Security Boundary Magic Quadrant, published this week by Gartner Inc. This is the first time Microsoft has been included in the E-Mail Security Boundary report, which evaluates Microsoft® Exchange Hosted Services (http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/services) and Forefront Security for Exchange Server (http://www.microsoft.com/forefront).

“Given its installed base of Exchange e-mail infrastructure users and the acquisitions of Sybari (soon to be called Forefront for Exchange) and Frontbridge (now called Exchange Hosted Services) — in addition to original investments in native anti-spam filtering — Microsoft is poised to become the de facto leader in the e-mail security market,” said Peter Firstbrook, research director at Gartner, in the report.1

According to Gartner, Leaders are high-momentum vendors (based on sales and “mind share” growth) with proven track records in e-mail security, as well as vision and business investments that indicate they are well-positioned for the future.

“Inclusion in the Gartner Magic Quadrant on E-Mail Security is further proof of our commitment and forward momentum in providing best-in-class security products and services that help our customers secure their IT infrastructure,” said Microsoft. “This is part of Microsoft’s broad security strategy that compasses a secure development process, secure platforms, application security, and security products for consumers and businesses.”

Microsoft’s current enterprise e-mail security gateway offering includes the Exchange Hosted Services line, which features e-mail filtering, archiving, encryption and recovery. These technologies were acquired in August 2005 from FrontBridge Technologies, which was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2005 E-Mail Security Boundary Magic Quadrant report and in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2004 spam filtering magic quadrant report.

For on-premise e-mail gateway protection, customers can choose Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server, which is deployed on an Exchange 2007 Edge Server. Forefront Security for Exchange Server is the next generation of Microsoft Antigen for Exchange, which was released to market in early June. Both versions feature a multiple-scan-engine approach to provide layered protection for Exchange Server 2007 against the latest viruses, worms and spam. Forefront Security for Exchange Server is currently in public beta and scheduled for release at the end of 2006 or in early 2007."