Microsoft Debuts E-Commerce Hosting Biz

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) unveiled a new e-commerce Web hosting and design business this week with the debut of Complete Commerce, a packaged e-commerce solution aimed at medium-sized to large enterprise businesses. Complete Commerce includes the hardware, software, service and training components needed to bring a business online.

The service isnt cheap, however, and may cost would-be merchants thousands of dollars in Web building and hosting fees.

As part of this new initiative, Microsoft will make Complete Commerce available through partnerships with 10 commerce-hosting service providers, including GTE Internetworking, MCIs WorldCom Advanced Networks and American Information Systems. Server hardware will be provided by Intel and Compaq, and the system will be based on Microsofts Windows NT Server platform.

Hosting service providers can download the Complete Commerce deployment toolkit, which includes setup, configuration, deployment and sales tools for hardware and software needed to deploy a commerce service. The toolkit includes a variety of integrated training and support components, featuring Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition, as well as information on how to integrate Cybercash for flexible payment processing, TAXWARE International for calculating taxes on orders, and ProLiant servers from Compaq with Intel Pentium II and Pentium II Xeon processors.

Microsoft is also offering the Commerce Solution Directory, to assist businesses in locating qualified ISPs and other hosting service providers.

Complete Commerce is the most recent e-commerce venture for Microsoft, following a partnership last summer with Hewlett-Packard that produced E-Commerce Quick Start.

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