RealTime IT News

Microsoft Targets ISPs with Complete E-Commerce Solution

Using the software initially developed for the roll-out of its own online service, MSN, Microsoft is now marketing tools that can give ISPs solutions that are intended to keep up with its customers growing needs.

"Today, businesses ask an ISP only to host their pages," said Microsoft's David Ostroff on the exhibit floor at the ISPcon show. "Soon, they'll be asking them to provide billing. They'll ask them to keep track of how many times customers used an interactive services."

Microsoft Commercial Internet System, MCIS 2.0, includes the basic consumer-oriented tools that were in the initial version (and which came out of Microsoft's development of MSN), including a mail server, chat and a news server.

The latest enhancements add more advanced tools including the ability to set up a virtual private network (VPN), and provisioning, which makes it possible for an ISP to manage customizable user accounts.

When combined with Microsoft Active Pages, ISPs can setup personalized pages for customers that call on user profiles. MCIS includes Microsoft Site Server and runs on NT.

Ostroff said more than 65 companies are supporting the platform, including Taxware, INEX, Baan and CyberCash.