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Microsoft, HP exchange messages

Microsoft and HP plan to expand an alliance to further the installation of the software giant's Exchange Server messaging system.

Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard announced plans to expand a mutually beneficial alliance to further the installation of the software giant's Exchange Server messaging system.

The pact builds on an agreement reached last spring and continues Microsoft's efforts to get its messaging software into large accounts.

Microsoft and HP have been partners since the early 1980s. Along with other systems firms such as Digital Equipment, the software giant is laying the foundation for large-scale deployments of Exchange and related server technologies, such as its Windows NT Server operating system.

"We feel that HP has great enterprise credibility," said Deborah Willingham, vice president of the enterprise customer unit at Microsoft.

New elements of the deal include the creation of a marketing and sales organization within HP focused on Exchange rollouts, the addition of 1,000 new Exchange engineers, and the development of a variety of services--including system migration, design, and outsourcing, among others--targeted at the Microsoft product.

Willingham added demand for the technology is driving the variety of partnerships Microsoft is developing on the deployment and services side. Digital's services organization remains the largest installer of Exchange systems.

Ann Livermore, vice president and general manager of the software and services group at HP, said the company would also develop solutions-oriented packages with Microsoft in these areas over the next few months: enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer service delivery, and retail replicated sites.

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