Microsoft is to move into hosted applications through a deal with hosting automation firm Ensim.
The first fruit of the venture will be Ensim Unify, which the pair claim is the first hosting operations support system for service providers.
The product combines Microsoft's .Net technologies, including Active Directory, Windows Server and Visual Studio .Net, with Ensim's hosting process automation systems.
Unify is designed to provide a common hosting platform to centrally provision and manage multiple services. It also offers support for the wholesale and retail distribution of hosted services.
Microsoft claimed that the product will allow service providers to offer hosted applications while efficiently managing, integrating and distributing hosted software within their infrastructures.
"We see the infrastructure for the new generation of hosted services being driven by, and created on, Microsoft technologies," said Kanwal Rekhi, president and chief executive at Ensim, in a statement.
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