Microsoft adds bells to business Exchange

Microsoft Corp. plans to offer a souped-up version of its upcoming Exchange Server 2007 messaging software for businesses that will include access to extra anti-virus and anti-spam technology.

In addition to a standard version of the program, Microsoft says it will sell a new “Exchange Enterprise” option. The version will include anti-virus protections from Microsoft’s acquisition of Sybari Software Inc. It also will offer access to the message filtering service that came with Microsoft’s acquisition of FrontBridge Technologies Inc.

The version will also include advanced features for complying with regulations on storing and tracking e-mail, and for unifying different types of communications into a common program.

Microsoft Exchange competes with software including IBM Corp.’s Lotus Notes and Domino programs.

Although the new version is called “enterprise,” it could also be used by some smaller companies, said Dave Thompson, Microsoft corporate vice president.

Thompson said the software addresses the two top concerns — regulatory compliance and security — among the company’s customers.

Pricing for the new version hasn’t been released. It will be available through the company’s “Software Assurance” volume-licensing program for businesses. It will be about 50 percent cheaper than if a company bought the included technologies on their own, said Megan Kidd, a senior product manager.

Exchange Server 2007, currently in testing, is scheduled for release late this year or early next year, the company says.


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