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Microsoft Outlines Hosting Initiatives

Microsoft Outlines Hosting Initiatives

At this week's Microsoft Hosting Summit 2009, Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) be unveiling its comprehensive new strategy to help hosting providers survive the industry shift toward a software plus services delivery method. \

According to the company's Thursday announcement, Microsoft will be helping its hosting provider partners through various programs and initiatives to effectively capitalize on their investments in Microsoft platform technologies and achieve cost savings.

At the summit, Microsoft will outline new and existing programs for hosting partners, including the Dynamic Data Center Tool Kit, which provides technical expertise, service operations guidance and marketing tools to help hosting partners deploy managed hosting offerings.

In addition, Microsoft will highlight momentum with its platforms including Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and Microsoft System Center, and announce cost-reducing updates to its Services Provider License Agreement.

"During these difficult economic times, hosted services are more important than ever as customers look for ways to reduce cost and increase efficiencies," Microsoft worldwide software plus services general manager and event keynote John Zanni said in a statement. "There is a tremendous opportunity for hosting providers to partner with Microsoft to transition from mass-market hosting into higher-margin managed services to deliver compelling new solutions to their customers. Microsoft is making major investments in technology innovation and in its partners to ensure that hosting providers are successful as the industry evolves in response to new competition and economic conditions."

Tier1 Research (www.t1r.com) analyst Philbert Shih said small and medium-sized businesses are turning to managed hosting as large hosts begin to offer them affordable services and businesses become more comfortable moving their operations to an online environment. "It represents an opportunity that is critical to the long-term survival of mass-market hosters," Shih said in a statement. "SMBs will continue to grow and move their operations online, and there is no question that they will continue to have expanding and more sophisticated IT infrastructure needs. Being unable to capture this opportunity will leave hosters competing for the less-lucrative, lower-margin and what will eventually be the shrinking portions of the market."

A main theme of the exclusive partner event is commitment and support. Ensuring that hosting providers feel confident in offering Microsoft-based managed services is critical to both Microsoft and its partners' success. Aligning with this principle is Microsoft's new Dynamic Data Center Tool Kit, which contains guidance, sample code, best practices and collateral to help hosting providers rapidly build and launch managed services powered by Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center.

Technical aspects aside, the tool kit also provides marketing guidance and customizable content to help all Microsoft Hosting Community members market and sell managed services and solutions.

Those not attending or looking for an ongoing commentary of the Microsoft Hosting Summit can follow it online on WHIR editor Liam Eagle's blog.

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