application service provider
n. A company that hosts or rents software and delivers the programs via the Internet. Also: applications service provider, ASP.

Example Citations:
Internet technology has brought with it two new tools for the outsourcing enthusiasts: increasingly common languages for communication and, in the future, data, and the arrival of cheap, pervasive bandwidth on demand. . . .It would be old hat to call this revived trend by the same old name of outsourcing. So the IT industry has a new moniker—the suppliers of this wide variety of offerings will be known as applications service providers (ASPs).
—David Hewson, “Tactic that‘s really taking off,“ Sunday Times (London), May 23, 1999

USi is an applications service provider, which means it offers hardware, software and support to its clients. Mr. McCleary said the company is unique because it is a one-stop shop for products and services. In addition, clients can outsource computer support work, replacing their need for an extensive internal information technology department.
—Julie Hyman, “ USi chief masters the public offering; Finds niche leading applications provider in growing market,” The Washington Times, May 31, 1999

Earliest Citation:
Diba is a leading technology provider for the Information Appliance marketplace....Diba licenses to consumer electronic companies, appliance manufacturers and application service providers.
—“Diba and Samsung Design In PowerPC Architecture for Internet Appliances,“ Business Wire, November 11, 1996

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