Microsoft seeks more Web-hosting inroads

Upcoming Windows Server 2008 platform is company's new entrant in this space

Microsoft is positioning its upcoming Windows Server 2008 operating system as a bonanza that, for Web hosting companies, stacks up well against the rival Linux platform, Microsoft officials said.

Due in late February 2008, the platform has been tuned for Web density and features other amenities for Web hosters, said Michael van Dijken, leading marketing manager for the Hosting Business in Microsoft's Communications Sector.

"Windows Server's been designed with, really, hosting in mind," van Dijken said.

With the current release, Windows Server 2003, hosts might have 500 active Web sites on a single box. But Windows Server 2008 vastly improves this, according to Microsoft officials.

"In some of the demos we have, you can manage up to about 2,000 to 3,000 sites on the box right away, and we're still looking to optimize the scale," said Michael Joffe, solutions senior product manager in the Microsoft Communications Sector.

Among the other improvements, the Internet Information Server Web server piece of Windows Server 2008 is modular by design, as opposed to Windows Server 2003, which required a single, large install.

"Hosters only need to install the modules that they need for their services," van Dijken said. Modules can be created for customized capabilities such as provisioning a database.

Also with Windows Server 2008, diagnostics and management tools are featured to improve the experience of using the platform. Better support for ASP.Net applications is featured, as is the ability to interoperate with PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) applications.

Currently, about 6,500 companies deliver hosted services via Windows Server. The beta release of Windows Server 2008, meanwhile, has featured a Go Live license enabling deployment of the operating system in production environments.

While Linux has dominated the hosting space, the gap is closing, van Dijken said. Microsoft has seen strong migration from Linux, he said. This is happening even if Linux licenses are free while Microsoft licenses are not.

"Companies like Red Hat will give you the OS for free, but the support commitment, which you need to buy, makes it more expensive than Windows," said van Dijken.

Tier1 Research, which observes the Web-hosting market, acknowledged Microsoft's aggressive push during the last three years.

"What we've seen is that there is a very fast uptake of Windows over the past three years or so," said analyst Dan Golding, vice president at Tier1. There once was a time when Web-hosting meant Linux, but not anymore, he said.

Microsoft promotes an entire package, adding products such as a hosted version of Microsoft Exchange, Golding said. Microsoft also has been bolstering its platform with features such as management tools in Windows Server 2008, he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?