Microsoft acquires ID management company Alacris

In buying its Canadian partner, the software giant plans to bolster its Longhorn security efforts.

Microsoft on Monday announced that it has acquired ID management partner Alacris in a move to bolster its security efforts.

Ottawa-based Alacris provides identification and access management technologies for smart cards and digital certificates. The acquisition comes as Microsoft is gearing up to release its Longhorn version of Windows Server in 2007, designed to be a more secure and reliable version of its software.

Alacris partnered with Microsoft two years ago, when it developed IDNexus for Microsoft.

Alacris' IDNexus is designed to integrate with the software giant's certificate services technologies in areas such as smart-card and PKI management, as well as Active Directory.

Last July, Alacris unveiled IDNexus 3.0 for Microsoft, which is designed to simplify the automatic update of smart card-based certificates without reissuing them, as well as support fully operational temporary smart cards that are issued when original ones are lost.

"Through this acquisition, we're excited to gain technology that makes it easier for customers to take advantage of the smart-card capabilities in Windows with tools to simplify smart-card life cycle management," Mike Nash, vice president of Microsoft's security technology unit, said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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