BARCELONA, Spain, February 11 /PRNewswire/ --

- New service gives users access to on-the-go business-class e-mail on the desktop, via a web browser or on a mobile device.

Today at Mobile World Congress 2008, Microsoft Corp and Cbeyond announced a new e-mail service, including support for mobile devices, that is now available as part of a communications package specifically targeting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The package includes hardware and air time for mobile phone service, local and long-distance phone service, T-1 broadband internet access, and, now, enterprise-class e-mail based on hosted Microsoft Exchange. The service is available today in Atlanta with future service planned for Chicago, Dallas, 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," said Brent Cobb, vice president of product marketing for Cbeyond. "We've seen significant customer demand for this service; delivering a seamless, enterprise-class messaging and collaboration experience to our SMB customers will give them the ability to compete using services traditionally reserved for large enterprises."

The need for on-the-go access to e-mail and other productivity and communications tools has never been greater. Employees want to be connected at all times, whether they are in the office or on the road; at the same time, businesses are seeking to maximise productivity without having to invest significant resources in building and managing on-site IT infrastructure, such as servers and software. With Hosted Microsoft Exchange from Cbeyond, users can now get all the capabilities offered through an enterprise-class e-mail solution, including appointment scheduling, shared contact information, task management and over-the-air syncing of all this information with their mobile devices, all accessible via Microsoft Office Outlook on the desktop or laptop, a web browser, or a smartphone. All Cbeyond customers will enjoy the basic benefits of Hosted Microsoft Exchange integrated into their package, and have the option to add mobile access, shared calendar, shared contacts, and a free copy of Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 for US$10 per user, per month.

"SMBs today want the same productivity tools and capabilities that enterprises have long enjoyed, and they often look to a single source that can easily and cost-effectively address their full range of communications requirements," said Michael O'Hara, general manager of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. "By working with a service provider like Cbeyond, SMBs are able to really focus on their most important priorities -- serving their customers and growing their business."

"The SMB market continues to be vastly underserved from a technology perspective despite improved network reliability and decreased operating costs," said Will Stofega at IDC. "The new Cbeyond service addresses many of the pain points that have kept SMBs from adopting corporate-class IT tools; it provides familiarity and ease of use with Microsoft applications, it has a low cost of entry and it is packaged with other popular communication services for simplified billing and management."

About Cbeyond

Cbeyond (Nasdaq: CBEY) is an IP-based managed services provider that delivers integrated packages of communications and IT services to small businesses. The company offers more than 30 productivity-enhancing applications bundled into one service package including BlackBerry(R), Windows Mobile, broadband laptop access, unified messaging, web hosting, and virtual private networking. Cbeyond manages these services over a private, 100-per cent internet Protocol (IP), facilities-based network.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. In the region Microsoft employs more than 16,000 people in over 64 subsidiaries, delivering products and services in more than 139 countries and territories.