Microsoft Clarifies Multicore Processor Licensing
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
This week, Microsoft announced its decision on how the company will license server software on new servers with multicore processors expected in the market next year. Microsoft software that is currently licensed on a per-processor model will continue to be licensed per processor, not per core, for hardware that contains dual-core and multicore processors. This policy applies to several products in the Windows Server System family, including Microsoft® SQL Server , Microsoft BizTalk® Server and others. Microsoft is approaching this decision with the goal of driving high volume and high value to standards-based computing through logical licensing and more cost-effective adoption of multicore processors.
Licensing on a per-processor rather than a per-core basis ensures that customers will not face additional software licensing requirements or incur additional fees when they choose to adopt multi-core processor technology.
"Our customers want to understand software costs as they evaluate the return on investment of new technologies, such as multicore processors," said Brent Callinicos, corporate vice president of Worldwide Licensing and Pricing at Microsoft. "Working alongside hardware and chip partners, Microsoft is leading the way for customers of all sizes to take advantage of multicore technology so they can adopt the advances of industry-standards-based computing into the enterprise."
In the past few years, the chip manufacturers have started to design chips with more than one processing unit ("core") on the chip in an effort to boost performance. For software running on these dual-core systems, chips appear to be two separate processors, raising the question of whether they should require two software licenses. Different companies have taken a different approach. Oracle Corp for example treats dual-core processors as two separate processors, while Red Hat Inc. treats single & dual core processors as a single processor.
Microsoft's announcement may put pressure on software vendors like Oracle to adopt a similar approach, because Microsoft's solutions will be more cost-effective on multi-core processors.
AMD was the first manufacturer in the industry to demonstrate an x86 dual-core processor for 32- and 64-bit computing on August 31, 2004. According to AMD, dual-core AMD Opteron processors for servers and workstations will launch in mid-2005 followed by dual-core processors for the client market in late 2005.
Intel expects to ship its first multicore chip, a dual core Xeon processor, in the first quarter of 2006.
More information about Microsoft's licensing policy can be found on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Web site.
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Microsoft Announces Plus! SuperPack for Windows XP
Microsoft yesterday announced the immediate availability of Microsoft® Plus! SuperPack for Windows® XP at leading retailers nationwide. Plus! SuperPack is the ultimate enhancement pack for Windows XP, enabling consumers to personalize their PCs with screen savers and themes, enjoy exciting games, and do more with digital photos, music and home movies.
Plus! SuperPack combines two popular Microsoft products: Plus! Digital Media Edition and Plus! for Windows XP. The estimated retail price (ERP) for both products is $50 (U.S.), but they are offered together in Plus! SuperPack for one low ERP of $29.95 (U.S.), representing an amazing value for consumers and providing them with everything they need to take their Windows experience to the next level. In addition, for customers who have already acquired either Plus! Digital Media Edition or Plus! for Windows XP, Microsoft is offering a $10 (U.S.) rebate on Plus! SuperPack.
"Plus! for Windows XP and Plus! Digital Media Edition have received consistently high ratings from our customers, and Plus! SuperPack takes the value of these products to a whole new level," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Consumer Division at Microsoft. "With its wide range of features -- from amazing screen savers to the ability to do more with digital photos and music -- Plus! SuperPack is truly the ultimate companion for Windows XP."
Plus! SuperPack is available now for an estimated retail price of $29.95 (U.S.) at thousands of retail stores nationwide where software is sold, including Amazon.com ($27.99), Best Buy, CompUSA, Fry's Electronics, J&R Computer/Music World, Micro Center, Office Depot, Staples and Target.
Plus! SuperPack also will be made available in French, German, Japanese and Spanish in time for the holidays this year.
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