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Issue of April 2003 
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Microsoft's new licensing terms

Microsoft Corp. has made changes to the licensing terms for some of its server software products, a move that could reduce costs for some enterprise customers. Under the new licensing model, which takes effect on April 1, enterprises that use server partitioning will generally pay only for the processors used to support the software rather than for every processor on the server.

While the volume-licensing user rights will change for the standard and enterprise editions of eight Microsoft server products, Windows 2000 Server and upcoming Windows Server 2003 products are not included in the list. Those that can be licensed under the per-processor model are SQL Server 2000, BizTalk Server 2002, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000, Commerce Server 2002, Content Management Server 2002, Host Integration Server 2000, Microsoft Operations Manager 2000, and Application Center 2000.

This move by Microsoft comes hot on the heels of a recent report by Gartner analyst Alvin Park, entitled 'Microsoft Server Changes Could Save You Money.' Microsoft recently released the 'First Take' of the report to the media. In the report, Park says Microsoft's move could save enterprises money if they use partitioning to segregate different applications running on the same multiprocessor server.

Park said, "Previously, some Microsoft customers complained about having to license all CPUs on a multiprocessor server even though not all of them access the software. This situation arose especially with enterprises consolidating several single or dual processor servers onto one larger server containing up to 32 processors as a way to control hardware and systems management support costs."

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