February 11, 2009 (HOSTSEARCH.COM) Microsoft
is showing that it is ready to take a greater share of the web hosting market with a promotion that is more reminiscent of smaller web hosting companies. Sign up for a Microsoft hosting account now, and receive and free domain and hosting for a year. Clearly, this is the type of offer end users are going to take very seriously.
The free domain offer is a genuine. Rather than the sub-domain some companies offer, or a domain where ownership is unclear, with Microsoft, sign up and its your (.com, .net, .org, or .info) domain for a year. In addition, its real web hosting with the usual wedge of services web hosting users are accustomed to 500MB of storage, 100 custom email addresses, site-building tools, project managers, document managers, and various reports.
Offered through Microsoft Office Live Basics, the offer is clearly intended to entice business users, but nothing suggests personal users are exempt from the offer. After one year, a user is then charged for the service, but at a moderate $14.95 a year, thats no great deterrent, although it does only appear available to US users.
Clearly, Microsoft is getting much more aggressive in pursuit of trade that is usually directed towards its hosting partners. Depending on how you feel about this, their moves into web hosting could be perceived as a bit of a threat, or a major opportunity.