“We are developing the necessary tools and guidance to facilitate the future upgrade from Forefront Client Security to Forefront Endpoint Protection and will help customers with the migration process,” the Forefront team says in the blog.
In addition, the blog hints a new product might take the place of FEP. “We will provide information about endpoint security management in Forefront Protection Manager at a later time.” Forefront Protection Manager (formerly called Stirling) is a centralized management console for all the Forefront security products. It is slated to ship in early 2010.
The blog goes on to say: “We remain committed to providing integrated management for the Forefront Protection Suite.”
Microsoft has been working on integrating its security and identity products into a layer of defense defined by access and control for its corporate infrastructure software. Microsoft plans to pull together Active Directory, Forefront software and third-party products and tie it all together with the Forefront Protection Manager console.
It’s an ambitious plan the company has been struggling to get on track.
Last week, Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's server and tools business, said: “It is fair to say that getting this done in non-trivial. It has taken us perhaps a little longer in some areas then we would like, but we are pretty excited about the progress that we are seeing."
But the FEP delay is clearly another setback.
Microsoft plans to continue to sell the predecessor to FEP, called Forefront Client Security, which supports both Windows Server 2008 R2 and the forthcoming Windows 7.
Microsoft says other products in the Forefront suite remain on schedule. Before the end of the year, Microsoft plans to ship Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server, Forefront Online Protection for Exchange, Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 and Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010. In the first half of 2010, Microsoft will ship Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint and Forefront Identity Manager 2010.