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Microsoft offers e-commerce site hosting

The company unveils Complete Commerce, aimed at mid-size and large companies looking for hosting help.

Microsoft has found an ideal showcase for its Windows technology: building and hosting e-commerce sites for a growing number of Web-based stores.

Microsoft today announced Complete Commerce, a bundle of software, hardware, and services targeted at mid-sized to large businesses looking for help in hosting e-commerce sites.

The company has partnered with 10 Internet service providers, including Concentric Networks, MCI WorldCom, and USWeb/CKS, to offer the service.

While pricing will vary depending on the size of the sites to be hosted, a Microsoft representative said a typical configuration offering business to consumer services will cost roughly $50,000 to build and host for three months. Contracts also include a maintenance fee, which varies by site, the representative said.

Compaq and Intel have endorsed the Complete Commerce service, and will supply Pentium II and Pentium II Xeon-based server hardware.

Microsoft will supply its Windows NT operating system, SQL Server database, and Microsoft Commercial Internet System software.

Microsoft has become increasingly active on the e-commerce hosting and site-design front, and has entered into a myriad of partnerships designed to show off its software.

Last August the company, along with Hewlett-Packard and a troop of smaller vendors and consultancies introduced E-Commerce Quick-Start, a bundle of hardware, software, and services to get companies up and running on an electronic commerce system.

Microsoft and HP are similar partners in another e-commerce venture called Pandesic, which is jointly owned by longtime Microsoft and HP allies SAP and chipmaker Intel. For the Pandesic deal, HP, as well as Compaq, provide hardware and Microsoft is the main software supplier with Windows NT and Site Server leading the contribution.