Microsoft wants ISPs and other online hosts to use Windows NT - and the forthcoming Windows 2000 - for application hosting services and last week announced deals with Cisco and other vendors toward that goal.
Many ISPs use Unix, which some contend better handles high-volume user loads. But coaxing online providers to use Windows NT would give subscribers easier access to Microsoft applications that run on the operating system.
Microsoft and Cisco said they will offer software, hardware and networking products to service providers that want to offer application hosting to end-user companies. The two said they are working with Clarus, Great Plains Software and Pivotal to build kits that include sales guides, demonstrations and white papers aimed at getting users to sign up for such services.
The application hosting market is expected to reach $US2.7 billion this year, up from $889 million last year, according to Dataquest, a market research arm of Gartner Group.