From TMCnet.com: Microsoft will highlight market opportunities for hosting and communications service providers as adoption of cloud services among small and midsize business (SMBs) continues to rise.

The company is highlighting these opportunities at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010. Microsoft said that it’s helping service providers take advantage of those opportunities via its software, services and programs, enabling them to become trusted advisors and full-service IT providers to businesses.
Awareness of hosted services is increasing with 65% of SMBs using hosted software to some extent, while 73% of the remainder have considered it in comparison only 44% in the 2008 index, according to Microsoft’s global SMB IT and Hosted IT Index 2010, a survey of nearly 3,200 SMBs across 14 countries.

Additionally during the past several years, Microsoft said that it has heard from its service provider partners that they were experiencing lower churn rates among business customers using Microsoft Hosted Exchange, Microsoft Office Live Meeting and SharePoint when compared with those using basic POP or web-mail services.