Microsoft's "per user" pricing model is not workable in the age of Internet
connectivity. How do you even define a user connection in Internet terms?
In response to this reality, Microsoft is repricing most of its
Back Office server products on a "per processor" basis. Only one of
them, Exchange Server, will remain "per user", because it's easy to
count e-mail accounts. Customers who already have a "per user" license for
SQL Server can renew that type of license for now.
An additional advantage for Microsoft is this move obscures a substantial price increase for most customers. Microsoft's official word is, "The customers are getting more, so they should expect to pay more". This is similar to when, without changing product prices, they eliminated "concurrent licensing" and changed the requirement from "per user" to "per named user". In other words, from number of simultaneous users to a license required for each and every possible user.
Here is a comparison for SQL Server Enterprise: SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition "per seat" with 25 users: $7,999, $140 each for additional users; SQL Server Enterprise 2000 "per processor": $19,999.
Along with the licensing change is a name change from Back Office to Microsoft Server Family, which makes more sense to most people. When we say "server" here, we mean server as a software process, not "server" as computer hardware. A server (computer) may run several servers (software process) at once. Due to performance and stability issues, Microsoft recommends running only one major server (software) on each server (computer), so "server" in the Microsoft sense generally ends up meaning "server farm", thus the need to license Application Center to keep them coordinated.
Microsoft is expanding the Server Family with several new Internet oriented servers. These are listed below as "not priced yet".
- Automation Access
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