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Microsoft and Symantec Cut SMB Tape

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) have officially launched competing products to address user frustration with tape.

Today, Microsoft unveiled Data Protection Manager while Symantec rolled out its Backup Exec 10d. Both products have been available in beta for months, with Microsoft claiming 60,000 downloads for DPM and Symantec 30,000 for the superset of what had been code-named Panther.” (See Veritas Uncages Panther and Microsoft Backs Up on CDP Claim.)

Strictly speaking, Symantec's Panther is now its Continuous Protection Server, available as a standalone product or part of its Backup Exec 10d -- the “d” is for disk -- Windows-based backup application.

The two products are likely to be the prime contenders in SMB backup. While a recent Replistor upgrade from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and the Continuous Data Protection for Files package from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) address Windows SMB shops, Symantec has the bulk of the Windows backup market and Microsoft has Windows.

Demand for these wares reflects a shift in customer preference to backup on disk after years of ponderous tape backups. (See IBM Hops CDP Bus.)

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