Microsoft Corp.’s Internet access service MSN has adopted anti-spam software from Brightmail Inc. as an option for users to protect themselves from unwanted e-mail messages, Brightmail announced Wednesday.

The more than five million users of MSN (Microsoft Network) Internet access will now be able to choose the Brightmail Anti-Spam Solution to separate spam from their legitimate e-mail, according to a Brightmail statement.

The Brightmail software puts spam messages aside in a special storage area where users can view the messages and take action.

According to the Brightmail statement Internet service providers including AT&T Worldnet and EarthLink have deployed the Brightmail Anti-Spam Solution.

ISPs are not alone in taking steps against spam, which the European Union recently estimated costs Internet users worldwide about 10 billion euros (US$8.88 billion) per year in excess Internet access charges. An anti-spam bill that passed a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee last month would require unsolicited commercial e-mail to be clearly marked as such, and require a way for Internet users to opt out of future e-mail solicitations.

Brightmail, in San Francisco, can be reached at