Microsoft outlines licensing changes for .NET Server 2003

Microsoft has outlined new licensing changes that will take effect next April with the shipment of its Windows .NET Server 2003 operating system.

At that time, customers will gain a new option of purchasing client-access licenses (CAL) on a per-user basis, according to Bob O'Brien, a group product manager in Microsoft's Windows server division. Under current licensing terms, customers need to buy a CAL for each device that accesses the server.

O'Brien said Microsoft is making changes to give customers the flexibility to choose the option that makes the most sense for them, or to take a mix-and-match approach of both per-user and per-device CALs, if that proves more beneficial.

Pricing has not been announced, but the per-user and per-device options will be priced the same, O'Brien said.

"You can pick a combination of both," warned Alvin Park, an analyst at Gartner Inc., "but you have to keep track of them."

The new per-user option is expected to benefit companies that have employees accessing Windows servers from a number of different devices, such as workstations, laptops and personal digital assistants.

The per-device option, however, would clearly work better for a factory that has numerous workers visiting the same kiosk or a call center that has more than one employee using the same workstation, depending on the shift.

Another licensing change that Microsoft will make in connection with the release of Windows .Net Server 2003 applies to companies that expose a Windows server to the outside world. A new "External Connector" option will replace the existing "Internet Connector" license that customers bought when they ran a Windows-based Web server.

O'Brien said the clarification is being made to account for business-to-business scenarios in which a company might want to give its business partners access to a Windows server via an extranet. The External Connector cannot be used for people who are employees or who "look like" employees, such as contractors or consultants, O'Brien said.

Pricing has yet to be announced. For servers exposed to the outside world, customers will have the option of buying CALs or the External Connector, O'Brien said.

A third licensing change being made with the release of Windows .NET Server 2003 will affect users of Terminal Server functionality.

Microsoft will now require companies to have a Terminal Server CAL for all clients, no matter which Windows client version is being used.

In the past, customers using the most current version of the client operating system were granted access to Windows terminal services on the server operating system, O'Brien said. But if they upgraded to a new server operating system and didn't upgrade their client operatingsystems, they were required to buy terminal services CALs, he said.

"Customers could easily find themselves moving in and out of compliance with the licenses, which has created a great deal of frustration and confusion for those customers," said O'Brien. "This [change] moves us to a more consistent model."

To help with the transition to the new system, Microsoft will give free Terminal Server CALs to companies that have already bought Windows XP Professional; currently have their Windows desktop operating systems under an Enterprise Agreement or the Software Assurance maintenance plan; or complete the purchase of Windows XP Pro before the new Windows .NET Server operating system becomes available in April.

According to Microsoft Australia Windows server product manager Michael Leworthy, the new licensing options will also be available in Australia. Leworthy said he expects local prices will be released closer to RTM (release to manufacture) of Windows .NET Server 2003 in early 2003.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Carol Sliwa

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?