Microsoft on Tuesday released a software package aimed at hosting companies that includes the latest version of the company's database and .Net programming software. Microsoft Solution for Windows-based Hosting version 4.0 includes , which was released late last year, and ASP.Net 2.0, the most recent edition of its Web development software. The package also includes Visual Web Developer Express Edition, a free Web development tool.
"We're giving service providers the ability to easily host software-as-a-service applications and target the developers who are building them," said John Zanni, director of worldwide hosting at Microsoft, in a statement. In the past two years, Microsoft has boosted its efforts to convince hosting companies to use Windows-based software rather than Linux and other open-source components which are often used.