Microsoft Launches Hosting Partner Program

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 28, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the Microsoft Hosting Program, a free offering that provides hosting companies with technical tools and resources to help them deploy and manage Microsoft® products. By participating in the program, hosting service providers can streamline their operations by maximizing opportunities for quicker application and service deployment and better management of existing systems. Ultimately, this can help hosting service providers better utilize resources, which in turn can help lower costs and increase average revenue per user.

The Microsoft Hosting Program provides hosting providers with free download access to both the Microsoft Solution for Windows®-based Hosting and the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration. Members also receive a monthly newsletter that includes valuable technical information, product updates and case studies to help demonstrate the many uses of Microsoft hosting products, as well as marketing resources and toolkits to help members better target customers. In addition, participating organizations become eligible for the Services Provider License Agreement, a licensing program that enables service providers to license Microsoft products on a monthly basis to offer services and hosted applications to their end customers.

“Hosting service providers represent an important channel for Microsoft,” said Pascal Martin, general manager of Worldwide Hosting at Microsoft. “We are making strong investments in technical and marketing solutions that help them rapidly deploy and profitably operate offerings that address the needs of their customers. The Microsoft Hosting Program announced today is vital in giving our service provider partners the solutions and additional knowledge, tools and community resources they need to successfully grow their business on the Windows platform.”

Microsoft offers two solutions for hosting service providers: Microsoft Solution for Windows-based Hosting and Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration. Both solutions use key products from Microsoft Windows Server System™ integrated server software, and provide tools and scripts to help service providers deploy hosted offerings. The solutions enable service providers to deliver a complete set of services to enterprises, small and midsize businesses, and consumers, including hosted e-mail and hosted productivity applications.

In addition to the Microsoft Hosting Program, Microsoft recently announced the Hosting Solutions Specialization in the Microsoft Partner Program. The Microsoft Partner Program is designed for all partners that develop and market solutions based on Microsoft platforms, provide consulting or technical services on Microsoft systems, or recommend Microsoft technology purchases. There are a number of certification, sales and customer reference requirements that a hosting partner must meet to become eligible for the Microsoft Partner Program. Partners who earn the Hosting Solutions Specialization have proven their proficiency in delivering consistent, high-quality hosted or outsourced services built on Microsoft technology. The Hosting Solutions Specialization helps hosters differentiate themselves by providing resources designed to grow their customer base, such as access to market intelligence, hosting-specific online training courses, access to Microsoft Certified Partner and Gold Certified Partner logos, and broad networking opportunities with other Microsoft partners.

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

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