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Dell cuts prices on Web hosting services

The direct sales computer giant cuts prices on Web hosting and expands the use of Windows 2000 in DellHost operations.

    Dell Computer has cut prices on Web hosting and expanded the use of Windows 2000 in DellHost operations.

    As first reported by CNET News.com, DellHost cut prices on its shared Web hosting and offered a free version of NetObjects Fusion 5 Web authoring and management software.

    In addition, DellHost will now offer Windows 2000 Server on both its shared and dedicated hosting operations and will add a referral program for small businesses.

    DellHost, like its competitors, offers two types of hosting: shared and dedicated. Shared hosting puts more than one Web site on a server and costs considerably less than dedicated hosting, which devotes an entire server to one site.

    Dell had been offering Red Hat Linux 6.2 or Windows 2000 on shared hosting, but not on all of its dedicated services. On the dedicated side, Windows 2000 was available only on its more low-cost PowerApp server hosting, but not with heftier PowerEdge systems.

    Tim Mattox, general manager of DellHost, said Windows 2000 has been surprisingly popular, despite the extra cost to customers. While Linux is virtually free, Dell Web hosting must license Windows 2000 from Microsoft, meaning Dell must charge more for the services. Mattox estimated that about half of the DellHost customers choose Linux. That could change with the expanded availability of Windows 2000.

    As DellHost expanded the use of Windows 2000, it also cut the cost of PowerApp server Linux Web hosting from $249 to $199 a month, plus a $350 setup fee. The fee includes use of a PowerApp server with a 600-MHz Pentium III processor, 64MB of SDRAM, 9GB of SCSI storage and Red Hat Linux 6.2, plus 21GB of data transfer per month.

    Through the end of the month, the company will also waive setup fees for dedicated PowerEdge server hosting, a $500 savings.

    Dell also cut prices on shared hosting, offering a plan for $14.95 per month with only email support. "We've found there are a number of customers satisfied with just email support," Mattox said. Those seeking more service can opt for the standard $17.95-a-month plan.

    Starting next week, Dell will begin offering the DellHost Affiliate program, which lets small businesses earn up to $170 for each qualified shared e-commerce sale.

    The company has also enhanced its Web authoring offerings, adding a special version of Fusion 5 to its Trellix software for building Web sites.

    Mattox said Dell would be happy to offer FrontPage but added that no deal is pending with Microsoft.