Clearly, Microsoft is in new territory with this ASP certification effort. Because this company has always done well, it is evangelizing its core server applications in a new marketplace, hoping to keep the market momentum it has experienced in the last quarters. With many ASPs looking for a differentiator in partnerships, this certification program will be noticed by many providers. The biggest challenge will be in the execution and capability of companies to stay focused on what is very much a long road to get complete certification. It's already becoming clear that Gold Certified ASPs will be a select grouprelatively few ASPs will meet the standards of the program or have the resources necessary to pass Microsoft's standards. This development will add greater competitive dynamics into one of the most important areas of the ASP industry: application certification. All ASPs that rely on Microsoft infrastructure or applications software need to closely monitor the activities of the Gold certification program. Even if an ASP doesn't plan on pursuing certification, it should know that those that do would raise the standards for everyone.