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LinkExchange, Microsoft In E-Commerce Pact

In a move aimed at further expanding its service offerings, LinkExchange joined with Microsoft Corp. to launch a promotion that targets small businesses looking to build online stores.

Under terms of the agreement, LinkExchange will provide its Merchant Planet e-commerce service to members of the Microsoft Site Builder Network at discounted rates. In return, Microsoft will actively promote Merchant Planet by LinkExchange to the Site Builder Network membership base of over 800,000 Web site owners.

Merchant Planet is designed to integrate shopping cart technology and real-time credit-card processing capabilities into a user's Web site without any software installation or programming knowledge. It offers a plug-and-play solution that allows merchants to enable their Web sites for shopping by simply pasting "Buy Now" buttons into their Web pages. The shopping cart and order forms are hosted by LinkExchange.

"We are delighted to be including LinkExchange's services as a benefit in our SBN Online Special Interest Groups," said Eric Ewing, Product Manager at Microsoft Site Builder Network. "We know that our community of Web professionals will greatly value the ease with which they can build e-commerce solutions using the Merchant Planet service by LinkExchange. This partnership illustrates our commitment to helping Web professionals of all levels to build businesses on the Web."

Today's agreement follows LinkExchange's recent acquisitions of Submit It! and Merchant Planet.