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Microsoft Upgrades Windows-Based Hosting

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday unveiled an upgrade of its Windows-based Hosting product, which the company says can lower operational costs for service providers through improved site density and better management capabilities.

Version 3.5 is targeted primarily at service providers that offer shared Web hosting or discount dedicated server hosting. The upgrade also introduces Web Site Starters for Windows, a set of development partner and community applications that include Web-site building, Web logging, forums, and photo-sharing software optimized to run in a Windows-based hosted environment.

The hosting product supports several recently released Microsoft products, including Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 and Windows Server Update Services. In addition, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 offers enhanced security by locking down a number of OS capabilities to protect service providers from the threat of viruses and malicious code.

Also, with the updated version of Microsoft Provisioning System, hosting service providers can standardize their automation platform entirely on Windows Server 2003.

The Windows-based Hosting product uses a centralized and automated management infrastructure to increase operational efficiencies, officials with the Redmond, Wash.-based, software company said.