Microsoft Announces Software-Plus-Services Adoption on the Rise With Assistance From Hosting Providers

HOUSTON — July 9, 2008 — Today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2008, Microsoft Corp. announced that more than 550 independent software vendors (ISVs) have enrolled in the Microsoft Software + Services Incubation Center Program since its launch in October 2006. As part of this announcement, the Microsoft Software + Services Incubation Center Program, formerly the SaaS Incubation Center Program, was renamed to better align with the company’s comprehensive software-plus-services vision.

The Microsoft Software + Services Incubation Center Program provides hosting providers with the tools, guidance and licensing model to help ISVs successfully transition to a service-based delivery model. Through the Incubation Centers, ISVs are guided through a structured series of business and architectural consulting sessions with the support of an established hosting provider to help ensure their business models and applications are ready to address the challenges of service-based delivery.

“Microsoft realizes that the evolution of the software industry will reach far beyond just bringing software to the browser,” said John Zanni, general manager of Worldwide Hosting at Microsoft. “Instead, Microsoft envisions a world of software plus services that consists of a unique blend of traditional applications and services available over the Internet. With the launch of the Incubation Center Program, Microsoft recognized that partnerships would be critical in order for ISVs to be successful in the new world of software plus services. Now through the tremendous success of this program, there is no doubt that building an integrated ecosystem plays an integral role in helping ISVs deploy service-based applications.”

To help ISVs embrace the software-plus-services opportunity, hosting providers are able to merge their core expertise in managing infrastructure and delivering services with business and design guidance through the Software + Services Incubation Center Program. Building on the Windows hosting platform with the support of Windows Server Hosting Guidance, the Software + Services Incubation Center Program helps bring together the infrastructure, licensing, consulting services and partnerships that ISVs need to be successful.

“As a software company that develops record-management systems for schools and construction companies, we saw a golden opportunity to expand our software by helping schools comply with Dutch government legislation for managing student records electronically,” said Rens Drent, commercial director, Kooijman Software. “The Incubation Center operated by SaaSPlaza has helped us reduce the obstacles typically associated with delivering service-based applications, enabling us to better focus on our customers and our business.”

Microsoft Announces New Incubation Centers

The Microsoft Software + Services Incubation Center Program is composed of 20 Incubation Centers globally, including 10 in Europe, eight in North America and two in Asia. In the past year, Microsoft has seen the participation in its Software + Services Incubation Center Program grow significantly, with new Incubation Centers offered by such hosting providers as PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. in the United States, YouSaaS in France, Mondo A/S in Denmark and NetSourcing in the Netherlands. In fact, NetSourcing is the first application hosting provider to deploy Microsoft Connected Services Framework, a service enablement platform designed to simplify the creation, integration and deployment of value-added services, as part of its Incubation Center. The solution provides the foundation for delivering a variety of services and applications from ISVs, as well as Microsoft’s own value-added services, such as the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration and hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft’s Software + Services Incubation Center Program also recently expanded into Asia, with Incubation Centers now available to ISVs through NTT PC Communications Inc. and Fujitsu in Japan. In addition, KDDI Corp. and GMO Hosting & Security Inc. are also expected to launch Incubation Centers in Japan shortly.

“As a leading provider of online IT infrastructure in North America, PEER 1 recognizes that ISVs that want to start offering software plus services to reach new markets must learn to operate differently than they’re used to as a traditional ISV. This introduces many potential challenges without the proper resources,” said Robert Miggins, vice president of business development for PEER 1. “Through our SaaS3 Incubation Center on the Microsoft Windows platform, PEER 1 has assisted many small to midsize ISVs to test, deploy and manage their Web 2.0, enterprise and SaaS applications throughout the entire product lifecycle. By working closely with the ISV community, Microsoft’s Software + Services Incubation Center Program has also enabled us to develop key partnerships, expanding our customer base and driving revenue.”

Attendees of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference can obtain additional information about the Microsoft Software + Services Incubation Center Program, as well as Incubation Centers operated by PEER 1, OpSource and visionapp A.G. by visiting the Microsoft Software-Plus-Services Partner Hosted Pavilion, booth 875. YouSaaS will also be present at the conference and located at booth 618.

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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