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Trend Micro To Continue Scanning Hotmail

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Microsoft has agreed to extend Trend Micro’s contract with MSN and permit it to continue providing antivirus scanning and cleaning for Hotmail’s 230 million email accounts.

Trend Micro (TMIC) learned it has won a year’s extension on its agreement with Microsoft (MSFT) to deliver antivirus services.

The Trend Micro technology scans sent and received messages for the usual threats, like viruses, Trojan programs, and other malicious programming. Trend Micro’s shares finished up 2 cents at 34.72 in trading today.

Antivirus and security competitor Symantec (SYMC) moved up 25 cents to 16.78 as it enters a financial quarter one analyst considers the company’s riskiest.

Forbes reported on Cowen & Co.’s Walter Pritchard’s opinion that Symantec could benefit from a stock buyback and changing its capital structure. However, those options do not guaranteed a significant uptick in shareholder value.

The antivirus companies all face growing competition from Microsoft. The software company has made strides toward delivering a more secure operating system to its customers, by providing a built-in firewall in Windows XP, an antispyware product, and the debut of its OneCare beta program.

OneCare provides antivirus and firewall services, plus performance tuning and system backup and restore options. In 2005, Microsoft had discussed plans to included antivirus on its Vista operating system, but complaints from Symantec to the European Union appear to have pushed that project aside.

McAfee (MFE) moved up 11 cents to 24.67 in today’s trading, as it announced a revamped Threat Center portal and a new Intrusion Prevention System, IntruShield 3.1.

That follows a downgrade of its shares by an S&P analyst from “strong buy” to “buy” and a lowering of its target price to $31 from $34. McAfee may have a competitive advantage with its IntruShield product, as the company claims it can protect unpatched browsers and desktops from a variety of threats, including the installation and communication of botnets.

Check Point (CHKP) has remained relatively flat since it and acquisition target SourceFire mutually ended their plans in the face of a likely hostile government review process. The company finished at 18.57, seven cents up from Friday’s close.

However, the company has lowered its 2006 financial forecast, partly because of the thwarted Sourcefire acquisition. First quarter revenue for the company has been forecast at $133 million to $134 million for the period ending March 31st.

Entrust (ENTU) continues to disappoint investors, with its shares being downgraded to “hold” by Wedbush Morgan Securities. Newratings.com reported how another quarter that missed analyst estimates resulted from the company’s inability to close significant deals for Public Key Infrastructure services it provides.

Computer Associates, now called CA, Inc., (CA) also continued its descent, closing seven cents down at 26.73. As former CEO Sanjay Kumar and global sales exec Stephen Richards near their trial dates for securities fraud and obstruction of justice, the new CA leadership has been trying to right the ship.

That could happen if the company’s growth strategy for the Asia Pacific Japan region bears fruit. Recently, CA shuffled four executives in the region, aimed at executing CA’s fiscal year 2007 strategy. The company announced these changes to the APJ leadership:

* Shinataro Nezuka becomes country manager, president and representative director for CA Japan;

* Gavin Selkirk, former area manager and managing director, Pacific and director and area manager, Japan, has been promoted to vice president and executive assistant to CA’s CEO, John Swainson;

* Tony Armfield becomes regional manager and managing director for CA Pacific; and

* Stuart Preston has been appointed country manager, CA New Zealand.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Trend Micro To Continue Scanning Hotmail
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