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Microsoft, Cbeyond Launch Hosted E-Mail Service For SMBs

The service includes appointment scheduling, shared contact information, task management, and the over-the-air syncing of the information with mobile devices.
Microsoft and Cbeyond on Monday launched a hosted e-mail service based on Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and targeted at small and medium-sized businesses.

Unveiled at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the new service is part of a communications package that also includes hardware and air time for mobile phone service, local and long-distance phone service, and T-1 broadband Internet access.

The service is currently available in Atlanta. Cbeyond plans to offer it in other cities as well, including Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco. "By working with Microsoft, we can now offer Cbeyond's customers the first hosted service based on Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 that is fully integrated with mobile access, all from a single provider," Brent Cobb, VP of product marketing for Cbeyond, said in a statement.

Cbeyond is offering subscribers an "enterprise-class e-mail solution" that includes appointment scheduling, shared contact information, task management, and the over-the-air syncing of the information with mobile devices. The data is accessible via Microsoft Office Outlook on the desktop or notebook, a Web browser or a smartphone.

Cbeyond customers can get the basic benefits of the hosted service integrated with their current communications package. Support for mobile devices would cost an additional $10 per user per month.

Microsoft in November released the first major update to Exchange Server 2007. Service Pack 1, released a year after the original product shipped, featured a number of enhancements, including improved support for Windows Server 2008, tighter integration with Office Communications Server 2007, and better mobile device security management, Microsoft said.

SP1 was also designed to improve the reliability and performance of Outlook Web Access and added beefed up disaster recovery services through a feature called Standby Continuous Replication, according to the company.

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