No price increase for Windows Server 2003

The list price for Windows Server 2003 will be identical to pricing for its predecessor Windows 2000, Microsoft said Monday.

The software giant released its pricing sheet for the new server, which comes in four editions and is slated to ship April 24. The prices are list prices and serve only as a foundation to calculate what enterprises under volume licensing deals will pay. Larger volume licensing customers can expect a reduction by upwards of 40 percent or more based on Microsoft’s new Licensing 6.0 program, which began last year.

"Not changing the pricing makes sense after they raised the licensing fees," says Laura DiDio, an analyst with the Yankee Group. "I don’t think they are about to raise the price of the software especially since it is based mostly on Windows 2000. I mean, what’s new in there?"

Critics have said the software amounts to a point release that includes native support for Microsoft’s .Net Framework, the runtime environment to support the company’s Web services initiative, and upgrades to Active Directory.

Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition is priced at US$999 and includes five client access licenses (CALs). The Enterprise Edition is priced at US$3,999 and includes 25 CALs.

The new Web Edition of the server, which is designed exclusively for running Web sites, is priced at US$399. It does not require any CALs, but the software is not available through all of Microsoft’s distribution channels. The company advises uses to contact their system builders, OEMs or resellers.

The DataCenter version of the software, which is sold through hardware manufacturers as an integrated package, does not have a list price.

Microsoft also did not change the pricing on its CAL packs or its Connector licenses that cover external users accessing servers over the Internet or through Terminal Services.

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