Microsoft Gets Close to Another ASP

  • Written By: D. Geller
  • Published: January 20 2000

Event Summary

Corio, a privately held application service provider, announced that Microsoft has invested $10 million as part of a strategic partnership arrangement. Corio and Microsoft are still discussing which Microsoft applications Corio will offer. Initially, such Windows DNA based products as Windows 2000, SQL 7.0, IIS and other BackOffice products will be hosted. Corio will also offer development tools like Visual InterDev and COM+, MTS, MSMQ and others. The two companies will build a shared laboratory to work together on hosting and deployment architecture using Microsoft's Windows DNA platform. The companies will also share business intelligence related to Corio's market.

Market Impact

While Corio is not the only ASP with which Microsoft has a partnering arrangement, this one is particularly significant. It will put Corio at or near the head of the pack with offering the newest Microsoft technologies. This means, in particular, that it will be positioned to host the latest versions of the applications from its providers, which include Siebel and Commerce One. Most important, Corio will be recommended by the Microsoft sales channel. Taken together, the components of this deal give Corio a significant advantage over other ASP firms, especially those that are Microsoft-centric. On the other hand, although Corio had its early roots in the Sun/Unix world, we expect that a side effect of this arrangement will be future de-emphasizing of Unix-based hosting.

User Recommendations

For the user, the advantages of this deal are that Corio will have early experience with the newest Microsoft technologies and the applications that are built upon them. Thus, those users who will be most swayed by this announcement are those with an interest in being early adopters and those whose requirements, on an ongoing basis, are likely to call for the most up-to-date versions of their applications.

Others will note this partnership and the company's increased financial strength as positive factors in evaluating Corio. In selections where Corio comes out near the top of the list for features, cost, and service the real and intangible effects of this partnership may be enough to tip the balance in Corio's favor.

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