Microsoft has bucked most of the major software makers by agreeing to count multicore processors as a single chip in its product pricing schemes. Rightly recognizing an opportunity to boast, Microsoft today dedicated an entire press release to its pricing decision. The company will stick with its per processor model for products such as Windows Server and SQL Server regardless of how many cores Intel or AMD manage to pack into a chip. Microsoft's openness on this matter is commendable and in stark contrast to the likes of Oracle and IBM, which tend to shy away from admitting they will price software per core.
Anytime, however, that Microsoft comes off looking rosier than Oracle and IBM in a pricing issue, you know deeper motives than just customer satisfaction are at hand. Oracle, IBM, Veritas, BEA and a host of others have considerably more to lose than Microsoft from multicore chips in the short term. For starters, all of these vendors run their software on Unix and Linux servers, which are already running on dual-core chips from IBM, Sun Microsystems and HP. At the most basic level, these software makers would lose half of their revenue on a per processor pricing scheme if they gave in to the chip makers. (IBM is an especially interesting case as it has DB2 and WebSphere code to profit from and makes its own Power5 chip).
News source: The Register