Microsoft announced its intention to acquire privately held email security vendor FrontBridge. Terms of the acquisition have not been made public however Microsoft did state that as soon as they receive regulatory approval they will begin integrating the two companies.

Earlier this year Microsoft acquired Sybari, maker of anti-virus and anti-spam solutions. FrontBridge's solutions do include anti-virus and anti-spam offerings but unlike Sybari, FrontBridge provides managed services. In addition to anti-virus and anti-spam services the acquisition will bring Microsoft the capability to offer email encryption, email policy enforcement for regulatory standards compliance, and email archival services.

Microsoft posted a statement regarding the future of Exchange Server in light of their intention to acquire
FrontBridge . The company said that, "Long term, we expect you to be able to chose whether you want an on-premise or hosted e-mail solution. As part of enabling that vision, we see Exchange Server as software that can be consumed as a product to run on-premise or as a service that can be hosted for a customer on their behalf. By having all our capabilities available as a product and as a service, we will be able to provide greater value to a larger number of customers."

You can read more questions and answers at Microsoft's
Exchange Server Web site .