Microsoft Overhauls FrontBridge - EnterpriseStorageForum.com

Microsoft Overhauls FrontBridge

Microsoft on Thursday unveiled its plans for e-mail security and archiving firm FrontBridge Technologies, including a new name and licensing model and greater security.

Microsoft, which acquired FrontBridge last year, has renamed the division Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services (EHS). The new unit is composed of Hosted Filtering, Hosted Archive, Hosted Continuity and Hosted Encryption.

Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering incorporates multiple filters to protect e-mail from spam, viruses, phishing scams and e-mail policy violations. Exchange Hosted Archive is "an advanced message archiving system for e-mail and instant messages that helps enterprises meet a variety of regulatory and legal demands placed on their electronic communication systems," Microsoft said.

Exchange Hosted Continuity is a security-enhanced Web interface that allows ongoing access to e-mail during and after unplanned outages of an on-premise e-mail environment, and Exchange Hosted Encryption preserves e-mail confidentiality by allowing users to send and receive encrypted e-mail directly from their desktops.

The next release, EHS 5.3, scheduled for April, will include filtering improvements, faster full-text archive indexing and keyword-based search, directory services and added administrative security. The 6.x release series will coincide with Exchange 12 availability.

Microsoft also announced a new pricing structure. For a small business with as few as five users, Microsoft said entry pricing would be as follows:

Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering, $1.75 per user per month;

Microsoft Exchange Hosted Encryption, $1.90 per user per month;

Microsoft Exchange Hosted Continuity, $2.50 per user per month; and

Microsoft Exchange Hosted Archive, $17.25 per user per month. Exchange Hosted Archive captures and archives external and internal mail, IM and Bloomberg mail according to the contracted retention period. When the retention period is met, messages are automatically destroyed. Hosted Archive includes an unlimited retention period for up to 3.6 GB per user, and extra storage is available based on per-GB pricing. Hosted Continuity is included with Hosted Archive.

Microsoft said FrontBridge has experienced 25 percent growth since the August acquisition, and partner resellers have grown by 20 percent. For more information, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/services.

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