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Equant to offer hosted Exchange 2003

France Telecom subsidiary Equant, which provides communications and data networking services around the world, announced on Thursday that it will offer hosted e-mail and other messaging services based on Microsoft's Exchange Server 2003. Equant executives said the service would allow businesses to benefit from recent improvements to Microsoft's e-mail server without paying big up-front costs. "We're convinced of the large potential of the emerging market for hosted messaging solutions," Gilles Pradere, vice president of managed services for Equant, said in a statement. Equant also offers hosted messaging services based on IBM's competing Lotus Notes software.

Microsoft introduced Exchange 2003 late last year as part of a family of products built around its Office 2003 productivity software. Significant enhancements in the new version of Exchange include new tools for filtering spam and setting up remote access to e-mail accounts.