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Microsoft pushes Exchange

Hoping to draw more customers to its Exchange messaging server, the company launches a new Web site and several initiatives with partners.

In a move it hopes will draw more customers to its Exchange messaging server, Microsoft (MSFT) today launched a new Web site and several initiatives with partner companies.

The Redmond, Washington-based company is touting the initiative as a way to snare customers who are avoiding legacy systems due to Year 2000-related problems. Legacy systems may be prone to fail at the turn of the century because many of them will recognize the last two 00s in 2000 as the year 1900.

But, more importantly, it also marks another attempt by the company to tap into the huge base of customers using Lotus's cc:Mail and Novell's GroupWise.

The new program is a combination of tools, products, and services, many at a discounted price, provided by a host of Microsoft partners. For example, Digital Equipment, one of the software giant's partners, will offer free "teleseminars," and planning guidelines, usually priced at $7,000, to cc:Mail and Microsoft Mail customers, according to the company.

Data General said it will offer migrating customers a 30 percent discount off its Microsoft Exchange, Quick Look Consulting Service, which provides customers with evaluations of their existing LANs and corporate email platforms.

In addition to the offerings from Digital and Data General, similar programs were announced by Corporate Software & Technology, Spectrum Software, Compaq Computer, and Dell Computer.

The initiative follows a series of attempts by Microsoft to spread the word about its messaging package. For instance, last month, the company began offering its Outlook messaging and collaboration client for free download off its Web page for three months, in an effort to tap into the user pools of Eudora Pro, Netscape Messenger, and Lotus cc:Mail.