Microsoft Notifies Large Customers and Resellers of Pricing for Windows 2000

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 2, 1999 — Microsoft last week notified its large customers and resellers of pricing for the Windows 2000 family of products, including Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, and Windows 2000 Advanced Server. The company announced pricing for Windows 2000 approximately three months before the launch on February 17 to give customers adequate time to plan and budget for purchases. Pricing for Windows 2000 DataCenter Server, which will ship after the other products in the family, will be announced at a later date.

Prices for Windows 2000 Professional remain essentially unchanged from Windows NT Workstation 4.0, although Microsoft for the first time will offer a lower-priced upgrade for Windows 95/98 customers (see Table 1). Most customers will purchase Windows 2000 Professional pre-installed on new PCs, or they will purchase using one of Microsoft’s volume license programs (Open, Select, or Enterprise), so the price they pay will be lower than Table 1. Customers should check with their reseller for exact pricing.

Table 1:

Note: All prices are non-promotional estimated retail quantity one prices. Actual prices may vary.

Prices for Windows 2000 Server increased slightly, reflecting the additional value of Active Directory, policy-based management, Internet Information Server 5.0, Kerberos-based security and Web Application Services. Prices for Windows 2000 Advanced Server, which replaces the current Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition, remain essentially unchanged (see Table 2). Client Access License (CAL) prices also remain essentially unchanged. Again, most customers will purchase through license programs, so they should check with their reseller for exact pricing.

Table 2:

Note: All prices are non-promotional estimated retail quantity one prices. Actual prices may vary.

Resellers contacted by Microsoft said that customers would be excited about the new Windows 9x upgrade SKU, and had expected an increase in the Windows 2000 Server price due to the product’s many new features. The resellers felt the amount of the increase was in line with, or lower than, their expectations.

When compared to other network operating systems, such as Novell NetWare 5 and Sun Solaris, Windows 2000 Server remains more feature-rich and lower-priced than the competition.

For example, Windows 2000 has fully integrated features such as Active Directory, IntelliMirror, VPN-support, single sign-on, and PKI and Kerberos authentication. Novell charges extra for NetWare add-ons such as NDS for Windows NT, BorderManager VPN Services, single sign-on and BorderManager Authentication Services, many of which are not fully integrated.

In addition, it is less expensive for current Novell NetWare 3.x/4.x customers to purchase the competitive upgrade of Windows 2000 Server than it is to upgrade to Novell NetWare 5 Server (see Table 3).

Table 3:

Windows 2000 Server/NetWare 5 Server Comparative Pricing Information

Table 4:

Sun/Windows 2000 Comparative System Pricing Information

Note: All prices are non-promotional estimated retail prices. Actual prices may vary.

Microsoft also informed customers that it has simplified the licensing for the Windows 2000 Server Family. Previously, the license requirements for a Client Access License (CAL) were very complex; Microsoft has simplified the licensing to focus on authenticated use. This is also more consistent with how customers use Microsoft software on the Internet. Essentially, anonymous use of a Windows 2000 Server being used as a Web server does not require a CAL, while authenticated use will require either a CAL or the newly introduced Internet Connector. The Internet Connector is a flat, per server charge that allows for unlimited authenticated use on the Internet. The Internet Connector has an estimated retail price of $1,999.

Microsoft will continue to offer Windows NT Workstation 4.0, as well as Windows NT Server 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition, after the shipment of Windows 2000. Prices for those products are unchanged.

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