Microsoft has launched a Windows-based platform for companies that want to offer software as a service over the web.
Version 1.0 of Hosting for Applications is aimed at independent software vendors (ISVs) and hosting service providers.
It includes software tools and information on best practices for designing service-enabled software applications.
Microsoft is offering a monthly subscription-based licensing model that allows service providers and ISVs to pay only for the software they use in a given time period.
Components of the hosting platform include Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005, which helps identify and resolve problems in hosted environments.
Another component is the Microsoft Provisioning System, which automates routine administrative service management tasks, such as adding new users, updating directory entries and delivering applications and services.
Hosting for Applications Version 1.0 is now shipping, although pricing has so far not been released.