On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that it had purchased Winternals, an Austin, Texas maker of Windows-based system recovery tools. Terms of the purchase were not made publicly available. Winternals co-founder Mark Russinovich will join Microsoft's Platforms and Services group as a technical fellow. Bryce Cogswell, the other Winternals cofounder, will join Microsoft's Core Operating Systems Division as a Software Architect.

"The work Mark and Bryce have completed in system recovery and data protection illustrates the depth of thinking and skill they will bring to future versions of Windows," says Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin. "The addition of their deep kernel-level expertise to our existing strong talent will help provide us with the edge we need to continue to raise the quality and functionality bar for Windows on both the client and the server."

The software giant intends to integrate Winternals' tools, technologies, and talent into Microsoft, according to a FAQ on the Winternals Web site. This presumably means that Microsoft will not be selling the Winternals tools as they are now designed, though the company has said that it will continue to meet all of its customer support agreements. It's unclear what will happen to Sysinternals, a free set of tools that was offered and hosted by Winternals, though the Sysinternals tools were part of Microsoft's purchase.