Microsoft launches new programme to boost hosted apps

Microsoft has consolidated some of its efforts to help web hosting companies offer software-as-a-service (SaaS) into a new programme.

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Microsoft has consolidated some of its efforts to help web hosting companies offer software-as-a-service (SaaS) into a new programme.

The Microsoft SaaS Incubation Centre Programme provides both infrastructure and services that web hosting companies can offer to independent software vendors (ISVs) to help them turn their applications into SaaS offerings.

"This is a collection of a number of efforts we've been working on... to bring hosters and ISVs together," a Microsoft spokesperson said. As part of the programme, Microsoft will help web hosting companies reach ISVs in Microsoft's partner channel to offer their SaaS-enablement services. The company has so far signed up four European and four US hosting companies.

On the infrastructure side, the programme includes a software bundle, the Microsoft Solution for Windows-based Hosting for Applications, as well as guidance and sample scripts to help service providers host SaaS offerings. Windows-based Hosting for Applications includes Windows Server, SQL Server, Microsoft Operations Manager and Microsoft Provisioning System.

Microsoft will also give hosting companies guidance on how to help ISVs deliver SaaS offerings from a business perspective, and help them provide business consulting and marketing for ISVs, the spokesperson said.

Microsoft is also launching a second phase of its SaaS On-Ramp programme, which offers discounted licensing for ISVs to help them become SAAS providers. This second phase gives ISVs the option to acquire discounted licences not only directly from Microsoft, but also from hosting providers enrolled in the programme.

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