The price of 'Hailstorm' disclosed

Just before Bill Gates and company headed east for the splashy launch of their latest OS in New York, Microsoft let developers know the cost of building applications based on .Net My Services, a set of Web services designed to make it easier for applications to interact with consumers.

Formerly called Hailstorm, .Net My Services encompasses things like calendaring, digital wallets, and e-mail in-boxes, which Microsoft plans to roll out next year. Some .Net My Services, such as the controversial Passport ID service and .Net Notify, which lets users control how messages are sent (e-mail, instant messages or wireless device), are already available.

.Net My Services will be available in three price ranges, the company said. At the low end, small-scale application development will cost $1,000 per year plus $250 per application. Mainstream business apps, which Microsoft expects to comprise the bulk of development, will be priced at $10,000 per year and $1,500 per application. The pricing scheme for high-end, mission-critical applications requiring around-the-clock support have not yet been determined, the company said.

No word yet on pricing to consumers, although Microsoft said last week that some basic services, like Passport and Notify, would be free, while others will be sold on a subscription basis through MSN, Microsoft Office, and other channels.

Microsoft also disclosed plans to "federate" its .Net My Services, allowing telephone companies, Internet service providers, ASPs, and banks to run the service.

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About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].