In a move to strengthen its response to security threats, Microsoft is opening two labs to study the growing amount of malicious software circulating on the internet, security executives announced on Wednesday.
The Malware Protection Centres, in Dublin and Tokyo, will be staffed with analysts who will create updates -- called "signatures" -- for its security products to detect malicious software, says Roger Halbheer, chief security advisor for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The labs will be similar to ones run by competitors such as Symantec and McAfee. Microsoft is doing a bit of catching up: The company has run just one lab at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, which is available, if needed, on a 24-hour basis, company officials say. Microsoft will now have facilities in three times zones.
But officials stressed they weren't trying to directly compete facility-for-facility with competitors, but rather trying to meet a need from their customers.
"We know we are building a capability that others already have," says Richard Saunders, a Microsoft spokesman in the U.K.