What is an ASP?

Keeping track of the players and their roles in the ASP business is roughly equivalent to tracking an individual fish in a school of herring. Is the company a leader, a follower, a borrower, or a creator? The answer might be "yes" to all.

Microsoft has gone to some pains to come up with a "taxonomy" of ASP companies, which helps its own staff understand the complex nature of this new business environment. According to Microsoft, the key players in the business are as follows:

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