Mirapoint last week announced a self-contained appliance for small and midsize businesses that houses an e-mail server, calendaring server and address book, along with anti-virus and anti-spam capabilities. Because the appliance, called the M50, can integrate with any POP3 or IMAP client, users can employ a Webmail client offered by Mirapoint, the full Microsoft Outlook client or any other compatible client. The Mirapoint M50 is designed for organizations of up to 500 users and will be marketed and sold through Mirapoint's channel partners.The base M50 comes with 53G bytes of storage and can be expanded to 113G bytes. That means that for a 100-user configuration with the base model, the M50 provides an average of 530M bytes of storage per user, although obviously not all of that storage would be available in each user's mailbox. At 500 users with the expanded system, there would be an average of 226M bytes per user.The M50 starts at $12,000 for up to 100 users and lists for $28,000 for 500 users, giving the system a per-seat price of between $56 and $120, although street prices will be lower. The M50 can be supported with both 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. support and 24\/7 support at an additional cost.The M50 addresses an important market segment that is increasingly getting the attention of messaging vendors. SMBs face a very difficult problem: they have most of the same messaging problems that larger organizations have, but their costs can be up to 10 times higher on a per-user basis because they spread the costs of hardware, software, labor, etc., over a much smaller base of users. Further, SMBs often cannot afford a dedicated IT person to manage the messaging infrastructure. As a result, products like the M50 and other SMB-oriented appliances can go a long way toward driving down the cost of messaging for smaller organizations while making messaging work more effectively and with fewer problems.