Microsoft Removes Licensing Restrictions From Windows Server

Microsoft has modified its Web server licensing terms for Windows Server 2008 in what looks like an attempt to compete more effectively with open source alternatives, CRN has learned. According to an internal Microsoft document viewed by CRN, Microsoft will not require a client access license (CAL) for the Windows Web Server 2008 SKU, and will allow users to run any type of database software with no limit on the number of users, provided they deploy it as an Internet-facing front-end server.

While Windows Server 2003 Web Edition, the predecessor to Windows Web Server 2008, didn't require a CAL, it did impose a limit of 50 users, as well as some database restrictions, according to channel partners. Solution providers expect these changes to go a long way toward making Windows Web Server 2008 more competitive with the LAMP stack. "I think Microsoft is clearly determined to gain ground in that space," said George Brown, CEO of Database Solutions, a Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Microsoft partner.

View: The full story @ CRN

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11 Comments

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There's still the problem of "we want to charge you differently depending on how you use it."

If I take my production server (Internet-facing) and turn it into an internal test server (not-Internet-facing), it would seem that changes things from a licencing perspective. A LAMP box doesn't have that problem.

Hak Foo said,
There's still the problem of "we want to charge you differently depending on how you use it."

If I take my production server (Internet-facing) and turn it into an internal test server (not-Internet-facing), it would seem that changes things from a licencing perspective. A LAMP box doesn't have that problem.

A box running Linux, *BSD or OpenSolaris doesn't have that problem at all - no matter how you use it.

Windows and desktops - sure, I can understand the logic, but using Windows as a server when there are cheaper, superior vendors out there? someone who chooses Windows must be getting their pockets lined by the sales rep, because no IT person worth their weight would be that quick to jump on the Microsoft train of doom.

kaiwai,

Cheaper, yes. Superior, no.

Don't confuse your own open source amateur-hour fanaticism with the PROFESSIONAL server IT community - the vast majority of which are MS Server admins for the world's largest companies. They'd be crazy to risk their multi-billion dollar company infrastructures on a shareware operating system. Ahem.

"no IT person worth their weight would be that quick to jump on the Microsoft train of doom."

Probably because there's no such thing.

Indeed, no IT person worth their weight would be that quick to jump on the Microsoft train of doom make decisions based on brand-name bias.

Client Access Licenses only count for computers connected to the server in a domain. As far as I know, the web server is anonymous and not domain-bound.

SonicSam said,
Anything that can help to make great web hosting companies like http://www.servwise.com more competative in the market must be a good thing. :)

Why not any hosting company? Or are you only spamming for one?

GreyWolfSC said,

Why not any hosting company? Or are you only spamming for one? ;)

I find it easier to just concentrate on the top tier and forget about the rest.

SonicSam said,

I find it easier to just concentrate on the top tier and forget about the rest. ;)

It would be nice if their website wasn't so damn slow.