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Prices Same or Lower for Windows Server 2003

Most editions of Windows Server 2003 will cost the same as their Windows 2000 counterparts, while the new Web Edition, which is designed to compete with Linux, will cost less than half as much as the Standard Edition, Microsoft revealed Monday.

Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, will cost $399, which is 40 percent of the $999 price tag for Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition.

The Web Edition is a stripped down version of Windows Server 2003 for ISPs and enterprise Web farms. The Web Edition is limited to support just two processors and 2 GB of RAM, and only partially supports Active Directory, PKI and VPNs. The Web server edition will not be available through all Windows Server sales channels.

The pricing is consistent with comments from Microsoft officials in recent months as the company ramps up for the April 24 launch of the server operating system family. There was a brief flap late last year when Information Week used Transaction Processing Performance Council benchmark documentation to speculate that Microsoft may be raising prices.

Standard Edition, like Windows 2000 Server before it, costs $999 with 5 client access licenses (CALs) and $1,199 with 10 CALs. Unlike with Windows 2000, which offered only per-device CALs, customers can choose CALs that cover either users or devices. The per-user CAL gives customers a cheaper option for users who connect to the server from multiple personal devices.

Enterprise Edition, the follow-on to Windows 2000 Advanced Server, will cost $3,999 with 25 CALs. That is the same list price Microsoft suggested for Advanced Server.

Client Access License package prices are unchanged: $199 for a 5-pack, $799 for a 20-pack, $749 for a 5-pack of Terminal Server CALs and $2,669 for a 20-pack of Terminal Server CALs. A change, announced in December, is that users must buy a Terminal Server CAL no matter what client they run. In the past, users with Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional didn't need a Terminal Server CAL. Microsoft will grandfather in the TS CAL equivalency for customers who buy Windows XP Professional before April, but Windows 2000 Professional clients will now need the CAL.

Also on Monday, Microsoft revealed the costs for two licensing options unveiled in December -- the External Connector Licenses for Windows Server 2003 and for Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services.

The External Connector option replaces the Internet Connector (IC) for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 running Terminal Services. Under the old IC system, administrators could allow up to 200 connections to a server on an Internet Connector. But the IC could only be used for anonymous connections from non-employees, meaning companies that wanted to allow business partners to access their servers had to buy individual CALs for those non-employees. The new External Connector will work for both anonymous and authenticated non-employees.

The External Connector for Windows Server 2003 costs $1,999, the same as the Internet Connector for Windows 2000. The External Connector for Terminal Services in Windows Server 2003 costs less, $7,999 compared with $9,999 in the Windows 2000 IC version.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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