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HP rakes in .Net dough

Company has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in consulting revenue related to Microsoft's .Net software in the past two years.

Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft have reaped more than $600 million in consulting revenue related to Microsoft's .Net software since signing a deal two years ago, the companies said Thursday. The vast majority of that revenue went to HP, Nora Denzel, an HP senior vice president, said in an interview. The companies originally invested about $50 million to beef up their service offerings for building custom business applications based on the .Net line of development tools and Windows software.

Since signing that deal, the two have taken part in about 1,000 projects with about 700 customers. Denzel noted that the Microsoft arrangement has boosted HP's professional services strategy to build finished applications along industry-specific lines. In their joint consulting work, the companies have devised application development practices in four vertical industries.

.Net in many ways mimics Sun Microsystems' Java software, which lets the same program run on different types of computers. Sun said its latest Java application server software--available for free--has been downloaded more than 1 million times. IBM said its Java product WebSphere has more than 80,000 customers.