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A Windows-driven hosting solution can provide significant advantages for those using ASP and .NET scripts or Microsoft Exchange (at a premium price).

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Why Choose Windows Hosting?

When it comes to choosing a hosting solution, one of the most important factors to consider is the operating system (OS) your server will be running. The OS determines which scripting languages and applications will be available as you build your site. As applications built with Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) and other .Net scripting languages grow in popularity, many people are choosing a Windows-driven server for their hosting needs.

While Linux remains the most popular OS for servers, Microsoft has made significant gains against "the penguin" as more developers turn to the company's powerful .Net framework (which includes ASP and its more robust sibling, ASP.NET) to create security, storefronts and interactive applications for the Web. Even with a larger piece of the pie, however, Windows-based hosting remains relatively rare, so you can expect to pay more (sometimes quite a bit more) for Windows-based hosting than you would for a comparable level of Linux-based hosting.

The primary advantage to choosing a Windows-based server is in access to Microsoft-driven applications. Beyond ASP and .Net, Windows servers offer native integration with Microsoft Exchange servers and the company's incredibly popular Office suite. If your company relies on Outlook for email and scheduling, a Windows server is the natural choice. In addition, Microsoft's monolithic structure makes both setup and maintenance (e.g., installing patches) far easier for users who may not be comfortable with the sometimes overwhelming abundance of upgrade options available with an open-source OS like Linux (many of which are mutually incompatible, given Linux's endlessly-customizable kernel and code). What Windows lacks in flexibility, it more than makes up for in reliability and readily-available support.

For those willing to pay a little more and tinker a little less, Windows-based hosting provides a stable platform for building robust Internet applications and web sites.

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