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Microsoft plans software licensing revamp

Microsoft is preparing an April Fools' Day announcement that's no joke. The company plans to change how it licenses the majority of server software, which could significantly reduce a company's cost of running large, multiprocessor servers.

The new licensing plan, which goes into effect April 1, affects eight Microsoft server products, but not its flagship Windows Server operating system software, according to a company representative.

The changes will apply to Microsoft's Application Center 2000, BizTalk Server 2002, Commerce Server 2002, Content Management Server 2002, Host Integration Server 2000, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000 and SQL Server 2000.

A key component of the change is how Microsoft counts server processors. Under the existing licensing scheme, a company running Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 database on a 16-processor system, for example, "would probably have to pay for all 16 processors, even if you only use four of them," said IDC analyst Al Gillen.

Beginning in April, however, Microsoft will charge for the number of processors used by the software.

That means companies running systems with more than one processor could see significant cost savings, depending on whether they "partition" servers into multiple segments

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News source: C|Net News.com

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