Microsoft Buys Secure Access Company

Microsoft Tuesday said it has purchased a Mountain View, Calif.-based security company to better secure its core file services including its Windows platform and .NET initiative.

The Redmond, Wash-based software giant has acquired the assets of XDegrees for an undisclosed amount of cash and is in the process of relocating the team of 12 or 14 engineers to the Microsoft campus.

XDegrees’ technology assigns URLs to Word files, video clips, and other digital documents for access across a peer-to-peer network

XDegrees founder Michael Tanne was offered a job, but decided instead to play his hand in the Silicon Valley.

“It is exciting to see a company like Microsoft looking at what we do,” Tanne told “It’s nice that we are seeing the fruits of our efforts, which could possibly be used on a worldwide scale. Of course it would be nice to still be independent.”

While Microsoft is not talking about the specific details of the deal, Tanne did confirm that XDegrees would be working with Dave Thompson and Microsoft’s core file services group. The two companies have worked before, but not on a commercial basis. Last November, XDegrees developed a new application for secure information exchange for use with Microsoft’s Windows Messenger and Microsoft.NET My Services. Tanne said it was up to Microsoft to fill in the “how and when” they would announce products with XDegrees inside.

“XDegrees focus on delivering solutions for distributed information access has natural synergies with Microsoft’s focus on storage. As we continue our drive toward making Windows the best platform for advanced data storage, having the XDegrees team and know-how on board will be extremely valuable,” Ben Fathi, Director of Windows Files Services Technologies said in a statement.

Microsoft could certainly use the help making its platforms more secure. Recently, six new vulnerabilities, the most serious of which could enable an attacker to execute commands on a user’s system, were discovered in Internet Explorer.

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