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Get ready for new Microsoft licensing models

Microsoft is making radical changes to its software pricing that aims to cut costs for customers and force other vendors to dump their own licensing models.

The shake-up is prompted by Microsoft’s backing of virtualisation technology. Virtualisation allows multiple images of an operating system to run on the same server, when actually only one copy is deployed. This means customers should be able to reduce the numbers of servers they need and so cut costs.

Unfortunately, the current processor-based pricing model doesn’t fit easily with virtualisation and works out more expensive for customers.

From December, Microsoft aims to price its Windows Server System family based on the number of images of that product on a server rather than the number of processors. This could potentially cut costs substantially throughout your organisation.

Theoretically, you will be able to transfer licenses between machines, giving you greater flexibility to respond to apply computing power where it’s needed.

Inevitably, if Microsoft sneezes the software world gets a chill. This latest Microsoft announcement should accelerate what analysts believe are unavoidable licensing changes needed to cope with virtualisation and grid computing.


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