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Microsoft holds steady on BizTalk pricing

Microsoft on Wednesday said it won't raise prices for its upcoming BizTalk 2004 integration software, as the company looks to attract new customers.

BizTalk 2004, which is server software that transports data between different applications, competes with products from well-established integration software companies such as Tibco, SeeBeyond, IBM and BEA Systems. The software is expected to ship early next year. BizTalk is important for Microsoft because it serves as the link between Windows-based applications--both existing ones and new software that Microsoft hopes customers will build using its growing lineup of business products--and existing enterprise systems.

BizTalk Server is the "spoiler" in the integration software market because it is aggressively priced compared to rival products, which typically cost upwards of $500,000, said Gartner analyst David McCoy. Microsoft said Enterprise edition of BizTalk 2004 will cost $25,000 per processor with an unlimited number of connections; $7,000 per server processor for up to six connections; $1,000 per processor with four connections for a partner edition; and $750 for a developer edition.

"Microsoft's biggest challenge with BizTalk Server is not pricing—they have that licked. The challenge is increasing the average deal size and penetrating the enterprise," McCoy said. Prices are being forced lower in the integration software market in general, McCoy noted. Purchasing complex integration software is quickly becoming like buying a PC, he said. Customers can buy much more powerful software for roughly the same price by simply waiting a year.

News source: C|net

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