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Microsoft Announces W2K Pricing 427

sterno writes "Microsoft has just announced the price for licensing of Windows 2000. The price tag isn't obscene by Microsoft standards, but they have now added a clause that forces licensing of every user who accesses a web server via the web (assuming that security is turned on). Check out the details at " So, are they going to price themselves out of business or make billions of dollars?
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Microsoft Announces W2K Pricing

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  • If you buy Win2k server in the store, and don't have to sign a license agreement to do so, you can do whatever you want with it.

    You can specifically twiddle with registry setting to remove annoying and arbitrary limits.

    The EULA that is supposed to prevent this has *no* force because it's not a legal contract. You can answer 'I agree' without commiting to anything.

    Why? Because if you say 'No', the software you own a license to use won't work. So you have to say 'I Agree'. But they don't offer you anything beyond the right to use the software you already paid, so you're not agreeing to a contract.

    They're coercing you into accepting, and not offering any consideration.

    It's not valid.

    They're just doing what all the lame little companies using illegitimate patents to blackmail people are doing... Hoping you don't care to fight it in court.
  • Yes, that does mean that Samba is now illegal according to Microsoft licensing. But that's it. You don't need a CAL for every person who connects to your website. Just the 95/98/NT/2k users in your domain.

    However, this presents a pretty stealthy move by Microsoft. Basically, this licensing scheme says that you need to have a Windows 2000 license for a Samba box. I don't want Win2k - that's why I have a Samba box. But if I want to connect to a Win2k box with my Samba box, I need a license. Bah. Stealthy little bastards, those legal folks at Microsoft. Ah well - they can take me to court for it for all I care; not like I'm going to be using Win2k as a server *ever*.

    Please clarify why Samba is illegal. If you've got a Samba box, using an NT Domain Controller for authentication, you've always needed a CAL (you said it yourself with the trusted connections bit). If I've got a Samba based domain, using Samba as a DC and a file/print server, I need exactly 0 MS Client Access Licenses. Of course, I need as many MS OS Licenses to use the services as I have machines, but that part is pretty clear anyway. If you've wanted to use your Samba box to access NT/2K files, you've always needed a CAL for that.

    Samba is not illegal, and nothing MS can do (well, almost anything; they could change the license to allow for only MS clients to access services) can change that
  • so to upgrade the microsoft network it costs: $57,792

    and a new microsoft network costs: $95,792

    while a new linux network only costs: 15,120

    Once again the idea of total cost of ownership comes up. You have to include the cost of upgrading all software to Linux (including anything specifically designed for the company). Plus the cost of retrianing everyone on Linux (because most people have never even heard of Linux, much less seen or used it). Usually it's almost always cheaper to stay with your current software than to change to something else, that's why so many places are still running software written 20 years ago in COBOL.

  • I'd like to see some numbers on that. I don't really see MS losing the OS market quite yet. I've heard people say that Linux is taking over in places where (for example) SCO was being used before. But admins who run NT do so because someone wants them to. Be it management or themselves.

    It's much easier to replace a Unix with a Unix, but to replace a Windows with a Unix can be more complicated. Another example: At the company I work for, I've built a web-based service for our customers to receive software updates. Because all of their software runs through a Win32 interpereter program (and they all run Windows anyway) our server has to run on an NT system. I would love to rewrite the software as a Unix daemon, but it's just not a possibility.

    I'm willing to bet that there are a lot more sob-stories like mine out there. So yes, Linux/xBSD is making inroads, but Windows isn't necessarily losing too much of it's ground. I guess time will tell though.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Oh you're right, this was the only article on Slashdot today, no other articles were posted. And i don't like MS b/c of how they conduct themselves and allow buggy software.

    Don't you mean burning houses and eating babies? :-)

    W2K will be as revolutionary to NT4/95 what NT4/95 was to Windows for Workgroups.

    Maybe evolutionary but certainly NOT revolutionary. Evolutionary means that each iteration is an improvement over the previous incarnation, while revolutionary implies a whole new paradigm. By that standard it is Linux and the various BSDs that are revolutionary, not W2K...
  • Okay, let's first kill a few quick myths in THAT post.

    First, you don't have to pay somebody to download it. You order it from Cheapbytes. With shipping, you're still under $10.

    Second, you don't have to burn multiple copies of the CDs to install to multiple machines simultaneously. You install to one machine, set up a proper NFS server (one option), FTP server (another option), or HTTP server (third option), and you can now install to as many client machines as you want via network (very easy to do, by the way, from my experience).

    Third, you don't have to pay somebody to stay at your site constantly. Linux machines, once set up correctly, need much less babying than Windows machines. And you won't ever have to reinstall Linux, unless you have a hard drive crash. All in all, you pay somebody to set up your network (most businesses could be done in under a month, some in under a week), and then pay him to check up on things every so often.

    Fourth, your retraining cost is going WAY down, since you've got Star Office, Gnome, KDE, and other Office suites on the way. People will have no problem figuring them out.

    TCO is a major thing to consider. But don't cook the numbers. They're quite yummy raw, and lose much of their value once cooked.

  • I work at a fairly small buisness ~ 20 people. We recently got a server and it's running Linux. It's used as a fileserver mostly, and nobody needs to know it's Linux. The user has W95/98 on their desk and it runs everything just fine. We saved quite a bit of money by going Linux.
  • One word: Student. I could scrounge $1800CDN from all my university money to scrape a computer together. While OEM Win98 is 'only' $~100, that's a hundred dollars that could have been another few gigs on the harddrive or a few MHz on the processor.

    And while Students aren't a majority as far as people with buying power, pretty much every student needs a computer. So pander to us, dammit!

    And yes, I DID install Win98 on this box. I'll be damned if I bought a copy for it though :P Tho I DID pay for my games. (straying offtopic) But Games are a different thing in my opinion.
  • by Effugas ( 2378 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @07:13AM (#1569523) Homepage
    Sorry, Mike. You summarized things a bit too well:

    "If I decide to put up and I want to sell T-Shirts with my picture on them, for something uninteresting like me five CALs is all I need since I probably won't have more than five people buying at one time," Nash predicted.

    Probably, eh? And what if I do? What if, say, Slashdot links to the T-Shirt site I'm going to open up someday and--amazingly enough--I have some T-Shirt that's surprisingly popular. Far more than its been. Are you telling me that, while Apache-SSL would be more than happy to accept as many credit card orders as the server could possibly handle, Windows 2000 would tell my customers to go away because I didn't give Microsoft enough money?

    Are you kidding me?

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research
  • Microsoft has been steadily increasing the prices
    on its software. Once people are trapped using it,
    all they can expect is more price increases.

    Once upon a time there was only Windows NT.

    WindowsNT, beget Windows NT workstaton and windows NT Server.
    and they prospered and soon after WindowsNT Prof was born. To be followed by Windows NT Server, Windows NT Advanced Server, and Windows NT DataCenter.

    NT -> $150
    NT Wkt -> $150
    NT Server -> $500
    W2k Prof -> $300
    W2k Server -> $1000
    w2k Adv Server -> $4000
    w2k data center -> ? ($16000 ? )

    Do you notice a trend here?

    Yes the cost has risen from the original cost, it's been a few years since then. I also notice th price of candy bars rising since I was a kid, but no one complains about Hersey's gouging the market price. The price for W2K is the same price as for NT4 (plus at max $2000 if your dumb enough to use your OS to authenticate outside web users, and then only if this is real, since no one has been able to find a mention of this licensing anywhere else).

    What it comes down to is that NT Workstation has doubled in price over the years, and probably doubled in function, while server has come up 6X over the years and added probably 10X the functions (and this isn't counting inflation at all). It's great to compare the price of the original WinNT and W2K, but don't do it without comparing what you actually get from the two...

  • Amazon's actually running Apache on Digital Unix. []

    But for Amazon-scale operations, this won't really be a problem - Microsoft is selling a license for $2000 that allows unlimited concurrent accesses over the 'Net. That's pretty high for what you're getting (especially considering a Linux server running Apache can serve an unlimited number of users (from a licensing, not technical, standpoint) for zero dollars), but it's a drop in the bucket for any organization that's actually going to need it.

    It would sort of suck for your customers to see "Sorry, we can't process your order right now, because there are five other people ordering right now, and despite the fact that our system could easily handle a hundred more, we didn't shell out enough to Microsoft..."

  • Later in 2000, Microsoft is planning to ship "Millennium," the final DOS-based Windows product.

    You should probably use quotes around the word "final". Windows 95 was supposed to be the "final" DOS-based Windows product, then MS came out with 98, which was then relabelled as the "final" DOS-based Windows product.

    Will Millennium be the final final DOS-based Windows product? Maybe. Maybe not. We shall see.

  • >I recently had a proposal turned down to make an
    >Intranet server Linux based instead of NT. The
    >company did not feel comfortable with an OS that
    >only a few people on staff new how to handle.

    Yeah.. just a few million people know linux/unix.

    An intranet server is a capitol expendature. Sure.

    But their E-Commerce/extranet site that serves their top 10 customers might be a bit different. Especially when the server craters.

    Why are these people interrested in Linux anyhow? *grin*

  • Please, compare apples to apples. RedHat is only one option, and hardly the best for considering automatic updates.

    Install Debian, do it once, and do it right. Build an image of the hard drive (using tar, to prevent problems with different sized hard drives), and a quick script later, and you've got multiple, automatic installs without any effort. And they work at least as well (if not better) than any automated install script from M$.

    Next, install a local mirror of the Debian distributions. Every night, at say 9pm, it goes and downloads the latest and greatest packages (using apt-get), and gets them installed correctly on itself.

    Next, each of the client machines connects to the local mirror (at say, 3am), and does the same thing. You could even throw a reboot in at the end, if you really wanted to. And now the machines are automatically updated (as much as they need to be) on a daily basis. With no human intervention whatsoever.

  • Now do the same with the number of people actually buying this stuff. How many licences of w2k data center do you think that MS will sell? probably a lot less than w2k workstation. Yet w2k datacenter contains a lot more functionality. Probably there's a lot of profit for MS (otherwise they wouldn't bother with the datacenter version) but still you have to consider the number of people buying the product (probably drops exponentially).
  • [rant]
    It really doesn't matter to me the specific details of how this new section of the licensing will affect ecommerce sites. What pisses me off to no end is the fact that Microsoft will stick its users with more and more semi-hidden costs at whatever junction they can.

    To everyone who says "Don't just flame Microsoft, everyone does it," I say this: I don't care if this is a common business practice. I don't care if Microsoft isn't the only company screwing it's users in a very uncomfortable place while stealing their wallets. As a user and admin in a corporate environment, I am currently forced to deal with Microsoft products. So Microsoft's business practices are slapping me in the face every day. And I hate it. Microsoft, hell, corporations in general, nickel-and-dime people to death so often it makes me want to vomit.

    I could try to see things from the corporate point of view, but I don't think I can fit my head that far up my ass.

  • Okay, so every web hit counts as a user that you need to buy a license for or what? That's how I'm reading this crap... If it's only your secure connections, as in those for commerce... it's still crap. Think about the ramifications for business... If /. ran W2K, they'd have to pay license for every user they had, wouldn't they...

    Couldn't you get around this by using a third party webserver (Apache for W2K... ewww...)?
  • Makes me wonder how Novell is going to survive this. They're selling a file+print system for twice the price of a full application server.

    Have you been to a site with 100 workstations connected to a file server, where the IS people, in their brilliant thinking, have replaced their Netware 3.11 server running on a 486, with a NT 4.0 server running on a Pentium III? If you have, then you will have noticed one thing: all the users are grumbling about how slow the new system is.

    When it comes to file servers, NT is simply not performance competitive with Netware, regardless of price issues. I don't see any survival problems for Novell, as long as business people stay in communication with one another about how well their systems are running. In businesses where a few thousand dollars is chickenfeed, word of mouth and your peers' horror stories can drown out marketing campaigns.

  • In the future the software giant will also count Web surfers from the outside world who require "authorized " access.

    How about that?

  • And your point IS? Exponential growth is easy when you're dealing with a newly accepted technology. Of course Novell isn't growing fast -- it already OWNS 40-55% of the server market, depending on whose numbers you want to use!

    I'll take the 9 documented reasons to reboot in Win2k over the 217 documented reasons in NT 4 and the 10^x for 95 for starters. I've been running the betas (1, 2 & 3) for almost 2 years now, and I reboot it and my Red Hat machine about as often...
    Another is Kerberos security, which is a big deal, given how 95 had no security and NT4 was only rated C2 by the feds without a net card.
    There is actually quite a bit, but I'll cut it for brevity. Hit for more info:

    Not sure about what you're trying to say here. Have you TRIED W2K yet so you can compare them and say you see nothing that dramatic?

    Sir, please do not question my integrity. I'm not a MS zealot. I'm not a Linux zealot. I use Windows/Novell/Red Hat both at work and at home, and I see no reason to say X is better than Y. They all have good and bad points.

    Yes, it is overdue. But remember that NT is at best half the age of Unix. And from but one company, not a broad range of entities. Change in a single state is slow. Change in a group of states is much faster.
    No question about Terminal Server, you hit the nail on the head.

    How about plug and play on an NT backend? Higher level NTFS security? (or, as above, the reboot & Kerberos) ?

    Yes, it was originally called NT5. To say they failed to consolidate may be a bit of a stretch. For example, GE has several hundred thousand 95 machines, as that is their standard. I actually know more 95 shops than NT ones.
    Also, why patch NT 4? We all know service packs often break as much as they fix. A 100%, total rewrite is a good thing, why bash it?

    And, it's, what, 2 years late? What a laugh that MS is saying "On time and in stores Feb. 17".

    2 years? No. It *is* about a year late, by MS's own estimate. They're just trying to get it right the first time, and go on a "One service pack a year" schedule. Getting it right is what it's all about. Most folks were HAPPY when Motorola chose to delay shipping a falty chip for this reason.

    Again, a personal jibe when you know nothing about me. You're just being rude.

  • This will be a big boost to the alternatives. This is very steep for the consumer market. Perhaps they imagine that folks just buy a new PC when the OS is running a little behind the curve.

    Anyone I know who is still running Windows on a home PC are using pirated copies. This is just one more good reason not to upgrade but to switch.

    Hell, I might even be able to persuade my wife to run Linux. She do not like to spend money, that one.
  • Some people will pay for it, some wont. Simple as that. Home users will almost inevitably buy it OEM - which means there will always be a market. Corporations will buy it in the hope that it is more stable and secure than NT4 server.

    Price is 90% meaningless IMHO.

    On the other hand the security issues surrounding the must buy to browse issue scares me!
  • MS has sunk a great deal of money into NT, and they have to maintain fast revenue growth to keep the stock analysts happy. Where are they going to get more revenue?

    They can't charge too much for their consumer-oriented products (such as Win98 or the low-end versions of MS Office). If they did, it would just increase the attractiveness of (a) not upgrading a Win95 or Win98 system at all; (b) getting an email-and-web-only box instead of a PC.

    By the same token, there are so many serious competitors for WinCE that Microsoft has to offer it cheap to OEMs.

    That leaves the WinNT world. There are plenty of medium-sized and large businesses out there whose employees are running Microsoft Office on Microsoft NT workstations connected to Microsoft NT servers, with their email served by Microsoft Exchange, and their tech support staff populated by Microsoft Certified System Engineers. For those companies, the total cost of owning Linux/*BSD might make those systems competitive with Microsoft, but the total cost of switching away from Microsoft would outweigh the cost of W2K.

  • The article talks about all secure authentication, but this isn't the case. Almost all e-commerce sites use a DB for their user authentication.

    However, my previous company (name left out) used secure logins requiring a user/domain to allow client companies to access their information. We had a good 50 companies as our clients.

    The article is interesting as it does not denote the pricing of CALs and, as I was not the purchaser, I don't remember the cost of them. And, admittedly, 50 users at, say, 200 a pop while expensive is not, well, unmanageable. ($10000) Considering the servers we ran are easily on the magnitude of 100 grand, a 10% raise in price can be handled.

    If the license turns out to be 1000 like NS's web server licenses, then we start having problems.

    My current company, however, only uses a database backend for non-company logins (ie, people who don't already have a user account).

    In a way, MS is almost trying to convince people to use SQL server or, unfortunate for them, Oracle.

    But the step that M$ seems to be taking is, imho, the wrong direction. A lot of complaints at MS that aren't about buggy sw or fanatical raving are that the MS licensing scheme is far too expensive and complex. Obviously, they aren't listening to us.

    I say we let them know how we feel.

    So many things couldn't happen today
    So many songs we forgot to play
    So many dreams coming out of the blue
  • It's much easier to replace a Unix with a Unix, but to replace a Windows with a Unix can be more complicated.

    Which is my point, really. Those running NT will probably stick to it, but the new companies will be better off considering alternate OSes.

    "Knowledge = Power = Energy = Mass"

  • by witz ( 79173 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @05:52AM (#1569545)
    Beginning with Windows 2000 a CAL is necessary for each individual requiring authentication, such as would be necessary for a secure online transaction.
    That sounds as if any user accessing IIS as an authenticated NT user requires a CAL. No big deal, this isn't going to affect e-commerce sites or any large website that authenticates. Almost all use their own user database, not NT's user database.
    This is just CNET blowing more smoke up everyone's ass.
  • Hee! My _god_ that's funny. And, seemingly, true. So I have a proposed slogan for us all to use...

    Linux: For When You Don't Want Your E-Commerce Site Telling Your Customers To Go Away

  • "or if they are accessing a Microsoft driven database."

    Does that mean if you use MS SQL Server for your web app, you have to pay, but if you are using Oracle, you don't? This would seem to push people away from SQL Server.
  • Let's see....Linux is free, W2K costs an arm and a leg? Could it be? Could it finally have happened? MicroSoft is so drunk with it's own success it doesn't realize that regular consumers aren't millonaires too? Comeon, those prices are RIDICULOUS...good thing i have a CD burner ;) W2K will cost me just as much as Linux *LMFAO* But really how do they expect to charge consumers like that?
  • In three years you'll be giving it away.

    In five years you won't even be able to give away a closed-source OS, except for niche/grandfathered hardware like mainframes (where you'll probably still be able to actually charge for it).

    The crystal ball isn't so clear with respect to Win9x (presumably because it won't be Win9x at that time). My first guess is that you'll be giving it away in two years, perhaps in 18 months, in hopes of stemming mass desertions from the All-MS market. But that would make it hard to convince people to upgrade to NT (by that or any other name), wouldn't it? So maybe you'll have to phase out the 9x line (for real this time) just to get that third year's income out of NT.

    After that, it's all over for Windows. Make those acquisitions wisely -- it'll be hard to go back to sacking groceries after being the world's richest man for so long.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • by jbrw ( 520 )
    According to the article, it's one license per authenticated user accessing your site simulatenously - and not one license per user who has ether bothered to authenticate themselves on your site.

    It's not clear to me what they mean by authenticating, but they use the example of accepting online orders as requiring authentication... Anyway, for $2000 you can buy an "Internet Connector" which allows you to have unlimited simultaneous authenticated users.

    $2k is chicken feed to most organisations, and considering only suckers pay RRP, you can be sure most places will get this at a substantial discount.

    Pricing sounds pretty reasonably - certainly not enough to cause any concern to the large majority of businesses (ie, I don't expect anyone to jump to something other than a Microsoft product based on this pricing).

    Ho hum.
  • One reason that this cannot work is that people by nature will move from one job to another, retire and enter the labor market. The only way to be safe is to buy an excess of licenses and be done with it. Small companies are not as able to do this as much as they are more frugle.

    What was convenient for all was the per seat site license. You could buy single user, 5-10 user or 100 use licenses. They weren't as complicated as before. Companies tend not to resize in denominations that would greatly exceed this licensing scheme. Even if they did, buying an extra 100 user license is easier than guestimating how many overpriced licenes to buy. Btw -- did they mention a discount on multiple license purchases?
  • by jbrw ( 520 )
    According to the article, it's one license per authenticated user accessing your site simulatenously - and not one license per user who has ether bothered to authenticate themselves on your site.

    It's not clear to me what they mean by authenticating, but they use the example of accepting online orders as requiring authentication... Anyway, for $2000 you can buy an "Internet Connector" which allows you to have unlimited simultaneous authenticated users.

    $2k is chicken feed to most organisations, and considering only suckers pay RRP, you can be sure most places will get this at a substantial discount.

    Pricing sounds pretty reasonable - certainly not enough to cause any concern to the large majority of businesses (ie, I don't expect anyone to jump to something other than a Microsoft product based on this pricing).

    Ho hum.
  • I don't think the Prices for NT Server variants are going to be the cause for many companies switching to something else. The price is still pretty small compared to the administration costs of any server.

    The price of Win2K Professional is to high IMO. If MS isn't going to target Win2K to consumers, does that mean that they won't bother keeping DirectX up to date on it and supporting game developers. What I really want at home is an easy to use system that I can play games on and browse the web. I think Win2K could offer a large improvement in reliability over Win98 in this capacity.

  • If Microsoft starts charging corporations a certain fee according to the number of Internet connections they get, how long do you think these same corporations will finally realize the potential of Linux/*BSD Operating Systems and associated Open Source software (for instance: Apache)?

    After all, most corporate Linux users have been attracted by these solutions because of an unbeatable price/performance/reliability ratio.

    Expect a mass migration to Open Source soon. And a quick change in the pricing structure of W2K.

    Fun slogans of the day:
    -- W2K: the other Y2K problem!
    -- W2K: Just when you think your computer was safe again...
    -- W2K: Just like Y2K. Only worse.

    Just my US$ 0.02...
  • I think this hefty pricing scheme could scare many businesses away from NT. Why pay for Internet clients when they are free with Linux/FreeBSD?

    Maybe this could be good for Linux. But I bet most big corporations (who already trust Microsoft way too much) will just pay the bill (or is that Pay Bill?), and Microsoft will end up making Billions and Billions.
  • Someone correct me if I'm wrong but NT Server has an unlimited number of TCP connections available where NT Workstation only has like 10. The user licenses aren't for port connection (ftp, http, stmp, ect.) but are for actual users that logon onto the server. Running a website using IIS or some such server wouldn't max out your user limit, unless you were having server logins through http. Remember M$ doesn't really distinguish between your LAN, the net, and your computer.
  • As that recent rant on Microsoft showed most IT companies that issue options packages instead of hard wages are dependent on a constant increase in stock value. Should that increase fail the options will be excercised and the company will feel an incredible cash drain further driving down the stock value. Thus IT stocks with a large amount of employee stock options are destined for a boom and bust life cycle. The only question is when the boom occurs.

    There have been numerous reports of MS head honchos cashing out and a few leaks about possibly shady MS accounting practices to make sure the profit keeps rolling in. These prices look like a cash grab but with Linux and other options some of it is destined to slip through MS's fingers. It may not payout like MS expects.

    MS, and many other option oriented IP stocks certainly look like pyramid schemes. The only question is how long until the pyramid realises it does not have a foundation and collapses. MS is feeling pressure on many fronts, DOJ, Linux, basic need for a constant cash flow, how long until the public stands up, points the finger and says Microsoft "has no clothes"?

    Corel head Copeland is facing insider trading investigation for his actions around selling before bad earnings results. Could the MS boys face a similar investigtion for years of accounting slights to show profit while cashing out on their options?
  • at least that's what I got from this...

    "If I decide to put up and I want to sell T-Shirts with my picture on them, for something uninteresting like me five CALs is all I need since I probably won't have more than five people buying at one time," Nash predicted.

    He is a general manager at M$ so this seems solid. I'd like to get a look at the license since the Office2K EULA is so nasty. After 50 times starting the program and you HAVE to register.

    I wonder if there will be more than 2 registry differences (other than price) between the workstation and server flavors this time. Regardless NT4 is working fine for us, I don't see an upgrade here for at least 2 years (and 3 service packs), and hopefully by then Linux will be ready to take over.

  • Actually, *you* are the one who is not comparing apples to apples. Certainly NetWare is more stable and faster than NT, but it also does a hell of alot less, and 99% of NetWare installs are File+Print+NDS only.

    NT Enterprise is only needed if you are using their clustering technology or have greater than 4 CPUs. (Novell, AFAIK is stuck at 1 CPU for most things.) Does Novell's custer software come included in the standard NetWare box?
  • This is ridiculous.

    First of all, even IF they were correct in charging people for using built in services over the net, e.g. authentication, how would this work? Would one just guess the maximum load and buy that many licenses? How could you buy /back/ licenses when your load is lower (for whatever reason...maybe you have streamlined your site or something)? Or can't you?

    As somebody else mentioned, this is really insidious because it cuts off all open-source/free/non-MS integration products. I want to say that again - This move cuts off third-party integration. That is very dangerous. MS has both the client AND server...once they cut out third party integration, they have an entire monopoly.

    Also, why wouldn't one just choose NOT to use the built-in services. For instance, here at Cornell U., we use Kerberos pervasively. W2K, I believe, supports PAM (Pluggable Authentication (Module?)). Now, we COULD use the build in PAM functionality, but if we have to buy 30000 extra licenses for it why should we? That's just a feature we'll have to disregard and throw away, and come up with our own kludge or keep using our infrastructure as it is (which is pretty good anyway). This is so dumb. Everything is authenticated in our environment, so there isn't a distinction between "intranet" services and "internet" services. The services are services, and inside and outside use go through pretty much the same authentication and authorization process. I'm not sure how many of the other "features" we'd be using.
  • Nah, no particular reason. Most people are using Apache, some people have a Windows machine, and they just run what came in the box.

    "MS provides solutions" ?
    You must be thinking of some other company. Microsoft is one the VERY FEW software companies which has a significant role in the computer industry.
    All the other major players are working with hardware, people or true solutions. IBM, Compaq, Sun, etc. don't give a damn how much an OS costs -- the only people trying to jack up the price are MS.

    "MS provides value" ?
    This one is definitely wrong, they're providing COST, not value, there's no question that what was decided here was the COST of W2K to the end-user.
    If you look at MS prices over the past 5 years, you'll see that they are IN NOW WAY linked to the value of the software, the cost is decided purely on maximising profit while preserving clear leadership in sales.
  • That, to me at least, indicates that TCO for Windows is lower, at least sometimes.

    If you've already got a trained staff of windows programs, you bet it is lower, at least in the short term, given the difficulty of hiring good people these days.

    I was talking about a very particular sort of situation. The word "actually" in the phrase ...for a Windows shop, it may actually be more expensive... should give you a pretty good indication of my opinion of the TCO on the average.
  • I think the 1st posts should be moderated to something less than -1 (maybe ~0). Some posts are more off topic than others. In fact, I've seen some pretty interesting ideas which have a score of -1, which I would have missed if I set my filter at -1.
  • I am a Linux newbie and have alrady rented a steam shovel. Unfortuantly, it will take a quantum N-space mine to plug the black hole that is in Redmond, Washington. That or hell of a lot of anti-gravitons.
  • So Microsoft is going more insane with their outrageous pricing, and you think the answer is to pirate a copy of Win2k?

    If you use even a pirated copy of Win2k you are still supporting it, even if not financially.

    But Bill Gates doesn't need your money to survive. He would have to live 234 years past the normal human lifespan (84 years? That is assuming that with his money he can afford the best goat and monkey gland treatments in Switzerland to prolong his life) to spend the $100 billion he has today at $1,000,000 a day, and even after exhausting the original $100 billion base, he would have to live another human lifespan to dispose of the all the interest it would have earned by then. Bill Gates is going to find nearly impossible to GIVE AWAY all the money he now has in his lifetime. Of course, most of his wealth is in Microsoft stock-- i.e., all on paper-- which could be, and very likely will be devalued to practically zero over the next few years-- especially if Microsoft continues to lurch along on their wildly clueless path toward overpriced oblivion, as this latest pricing scheme for Win2k seems to suggest they are doing with wild abandon.

    So, to reiterate, if you pirate Win2k, it will not affect Bill Gates fortunes in the least. But it WILL promote the life of Win2k, and ultimately Microsoft, a little longer.

    You would be far wiser to completely abandon the use of any and all products from Microsoft if you want to see them cease to exist. Find the NON-Microsoft alternative programs that are available to run. You can do all of your word processing, personal account management, graphics manipulation, web browsing, web and software development, database management, and even play games using non-Microsoft dependent software. The list of non-Microsoft programs that run on a PC that will do most anything you want to do is huge, and it is growing larger every day. Of course, the extortionists in Redmond don't want you to know this.

    You just have to find the alternatives to Microsoft and Microsoft dependent software-- and plenty of alternatives ARE available. But you can't expect to run Word, Excel, etc.

    We once used Microsoft software, but we stopped at Windows 3.11. We still run it on one machine so that my six children (the youngest is 2, the oldest 17) can continue to use the large collection of Windows-dependent games that the family has purchased over the years. We NO LONGER buy any Microsoft products of any kind or Windows dependent software, including games, and have not for about two years. If the package says "Microsoft" or requires Windows 3.1/95/98/NT to run we do not buy it. And we are surviving very well, thank you, with two PCs in the house that do everything we require-- both of them are in use virtually all day long every day. One machine runs Windows 3.11 only when the kids want to play their Win-based games. Otherwise, that machine is booted into another operating system.

    We run S.u.S.E. Linux 6.0 and OS/2 Warp 4.0 (with FixPack 9 installed-- it was free by the way, as all of OS/2's FixPacks are). S.u.S.E. 6.2 has just arrived in the mail, with 6 CDs of software for less than $60, and we will now be upgrading to it. Warp is still viable because we have an entire filing cabinet filled with hundreds of WordPerfect 4.2, 5.0, 5.2 and 6.0 documents and also DeScribe 5.0 documents, on floppies dating back to 1986, and we just don't want to take the time to convert them over to another format.

    We use Quicken for DOS 7.0 for our personal accounts, and it runs under OS/2, with all of its functions available. We are glad to see that Quicken is going to come out with a version that will run under Linux, or so we have heard.

    Eventually, we intend for all of our home computers to run everything under Linux alone-- And we are well on our way to doing that. Linux works very well for us. Each member of the family has his/her own user account, and only Dad has the superuser password.
  • Of course people will pirate it. But so what? I would imagine that MS doesn't get most of its web server money from private individuals, it gets its money from corporations. I have yet to see a corporation, however small, that is willing to use pirated or hacked software. (Maybe I just haven't been around enough. :)
  • What is an authenticated conection ?

    We don't know what this is, and even the Mike Nash example doesn't make it clear. There's nothing visible on the M$oft site that clears this up, and I don't trust CNET's degree of technical literacy to understand the pedantic implications of it.

    A logon to the NT Domain is clearly an authenticated connection and requires a CAL.
    Intranet users of NT servers - get your chequebooks out.
    What about a client-side certificate ?
    What about SSL ?

    eCommerce is not going to be using NT Domain logons as an authentication mechanism. It was impossible to offer that to the public before and it was even most unlikely that it would be offered to a closed user community (my current project is doing this on an NT server, and we're using client side certificates).

    As soon as anyone knows what the real position is with SSL and W2K, please post it. We don't care about charging for the Domain (that's fair) and only if M$oft are charging for SSL could this be reasonably regarded as a major foot-shoting.

    If they've actually phrased it to include any 3rd party product that could be said to "authenticate" users on an open NT server, then it really is time to nuke Redmond from orbit.

  • Yep, it seems I did indeed echo exactly what you said. Strange. I either misread your post the first time or replied to the wrong one. Either way, it looks pretty dumb now :)


  • Good point - reading some of the posts during meta-moderation makes me realise that all too frequently a good idea gets marked as being off-topic because it, say, takes a light hearted view, or looks at things a different way...

    Couldn't the /. engine grep for first post? :) hmmmm, the idea about making a special moderation selection for first-posts is a good one, it's just a pity that it takes a moderation point to do so.

    btw, how is ~0 less than -1 ?! :)
  • How about just keep the old MS OSs on the client/workstation end, and just buy a linux server? Nobody's forcing you to upgrade right?
    Let the people use their same old Windows apps, but your backend will all be Linux.
  • True this is a trademarked bad idea. However this is from a company that the default for their database(SQL). (And I think for IIS too...)
    For SQL it's called either "Use NT Security" or "Use Trusted Connection."

    Not only that the default administrator account for SQL is blank. (If you choose not to use a "trusted" connection.) WITH NO WARNING TO CHANGE IT!!!!! That's right out of the box login = 'sa', password = '' and your in. (Although, I think at least some people have caught on about this.)

    [At a former company I was critized for changing the sa password and using SQL's security instead of MS-ACCESS's..... My reasoning, the large number of Office password cracking progs out there.]

  • Well, they say "authenticated" users, does this mean that crackers will count in the license? ;-)


  • Der groesste Schuft im ganzen Land, das ist und bleibt der Denunziant.

    And please do not fall over each other e-mailing my boss that I told you off, you little snitches. I hope some day somebody like you screws you like you do. How many notches have you got in your keyboard?

  • Financial software is really needed, working the linux booth at the san diego computer expo, that was the number one question: "Is there a version of quicken for linux?" I must have got that question over a hundred times in three days. I emailed intuit and told them they had a linux market, it would be a big plus for linux if they ported it.
  • I used revolutionary because Win 2K is a *total* rewrite. It doesn't include ANY code from the old days. 95/NT4 was revolutionary as it isn't really a fancy dos shell, ala WFW. New paradigm, in a way.

    W2K is not a total rewrite. NT is still the skeleton around which W2K is based. Yes, there have been architectural changes to the underlying structure, but it's still recognizably Windows NT. Even Microsoft admits it, as one of the marketing gimmicks for W2K is the slogan of, "Based On NT Technology!" There are going to be stickers on the W2K boxes hyping that fact.

    W2K may be a great evolutionary step, but it is indeed only evolutionary. Added features and/or new code don't make something evolutionary; evolution, by definition, incorporates new features and ideas.

  • Let's take a hypothetical situation. Two E-commerce websites exactly the same, selling widgits.

    Site A runs Linux, SSL, Apache, Whatever...

    Site B Runs Win2k.

    Since good old billy charges a tarif to sell the items, Site B's widgets are more expensive than Site A. So slowly Site A makes a better profit.

    Then a new nano widget comes out on both sites and Hemos is overjoyed. Both sites get the slashdot effect.
    Site A survives the assult with a few minor tweaks, accepting 99.9% of the resultant orders. (.1% lost during the tweaks and the party of massive geeks getting rich)
    Site B's servers are still running but saying "out of client licences." The result is 10% of the orders are accepted even at the higher price. Site B goes bankrupt after over ordering the new nano widgets. The excess invintory is bought by site A. Site A changes it's slogan to "Beware of the penguin"

    Yet another case of a good use for the slashdot effect and Hemos
  • Personally, I'm used to being able to install a free *IX and have it serve as many clients as I have CPU time and bandwidth to handle. I was shocked the first time I found out that NT Server required you to buy a license for each client accessing it. People actually put up with this?
  • "According to the article, it's one license per authenticated user accessing your site simulatenously - and not one license per user who has ether bothered to authenticate themselves on your site."

    Ok, this works for commercial businesses who have ONE services and unknown and faceless/stateless clients/customers. Now what about the academic environment for instance? We have literally thousands upon thousands (30000+) _dedicated_ users, using myriad services. What do WE do? Do we just buy a license for everybody because theoretically everybody could potentially but using a service at the same time (or multiple services at the same time, there is just no way to measure this and return an "average load"). We have people that access services from the intranet and internet. Our users are dedicated, so we can't just come up with some guess as to how many will be using it at the same time.
  • Let's not forget that Win2K includes some new public key crypto pieces, such as certificate management infrastructure. I'm betting that every cert required by IIS will be found in the system database, meaning that every connection using such a cert is going to need a license.

    Now this doesn't mean that all e-commerce sites will need to pay through the nose. Most don't require client authentication - when you go to Amazon, you have a username and password, not a certificate. Which means you probably won't need a license for each order being processed concurrently.

    However, there are plenty of other applications which could be hit by this. Most controlled access today is done through passwords, but it won't be long before it's all done with certificates, and it seems Microsoft is ready. What's worse is that Win2K pricing will be reasonable now, but in a few years when companies start taking the next step it'll sharply increase...
  • Hrunting wisely observed: Some people are saying that this only counts authenticated NT users, but this statement would contradict that. They are squarely saying that if you're going to have multiple people connecting to your system, you're going to pay for it. This is similar to news outsourcing where a company pays for a number of concurrent connections. They don't pay for all their customers, just the ones they'll expect to be connected at once. Now come the interesting questions. What if you use Apache as your web server and someone tries to connect. Do you have to pay for it? Can you charge for connections to an operating system? This doesn't sound like a feasible pricing scheme to me unless Microsoft is going to implement some sort of connection limiting scheme in its software (highly unlikely, although, like I said, they have a twisted sense of humor).

    Since IIS is a kernel service (!) connection limiting would be easy. OTOH, since the issue is license enforcement there's no reason that they couldn't set up a bot to interrogate sites now and then about their peak connection load. If it's over the wire, an invoice arrives. Don't pay the invoice, and thanks to some effective lobbying MICROS~1 now has the legal right to remotely shut the server down -- anyone want to bet that they didn't add the hooks to do it? They fought HARD for that clause, after all.
  • That's a pretty confusing scheme. If I understand it correctly, MS is saying that anybody who accesses your W2K server (and isn't logged in via guest/anonymous) counts as a "seat".. and you're required to pay for each seat.

    Sooo... Apache can handle 20 concurrent (authenticated) users for free... and according to MS you'll need to pay for the "Internet Connector" to get the same thing, except that it'll cost you about $2,000 to do it, NOT INCLUDING the cost of the server(s)!

    I have the distinct impression small businesses and web-design shops are going to take the brunt of this new pricing scheme.

  • I think he's referring to the requirement for CALS for authenticated users. It gets a bit pricey.

    It costs 4K to license a server to support 25 users, which is not pocket change. The real kicker is for authenticated access to web sites. If the EULA is true to form, it won't even matter if you're running Apache or some other httpd software. If you read the current EULA, if you buy a five user NT server license, install Oracle on it for ten users, you're in violation.

    If the pricing is like current pricing, a license for 50 users will cost you a bit under 4500. Presumably it will top out at some point so that anyone with a large e-commerce site would just pay a flat fee.
  • Now just to kick back and watch the stock price go up up up!
  • by Roundeye ( 16278 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @09:34AM (#1569675) Homepage
    I don't expect anyone to jump to something other than a Microsoft product based on this pricing

    Too late. This was the final nail in the coffin for M$ at our site. We have been haggling about whether to ditch NT/IIS for *BSD-Linux and Apache for some time now, and have been evaluating Win2k as possible. The only real tie to IIS we have is the use of ASP (and we don't have any ASP pages yet -- just a number of Access forms which could be exported to ASP). After we read about this the final architecture plan was finished: goodbye IIS, goodbye NT.

    The clincher -- the only benefits of NT were that we had servers here already and they support ASP in IIS. For the cost difference in switching to a Freenix/Apache setup (and yes, we'd rather be adminstering those types of systems; seeing as how one doesn't really "administer" NT anyway) we can afford to hire an additional person to evaluate ASP clones and ASP->PHP[34] conversion solutions.

  • by JordanH ( 75307 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @09:46AM (#1569680) Homepage Journal
    • 2 years? No. It *is* about a year late, by MS's own estimate. They're just trying to get it right the first time, and go on a "One service pack a year" schedule. Getting it right is what it's all about. Most folks were HAPPY when Motorola chose to delay shipping a falty chip for this reason.

      Again, a personal jibe when you know nothing about me. You're just being rude.

    I only know you from the things you say. I know you read too much MS bull, in this case about release dates, and believe it.

    Check out this article [] from June of 1998. It contains this paragraph:

    • To combat the perception that another delay has befallen its NT upgrade, Microsoft posted a document on its Web site to explain its position. In the posting, the company stressed that final delivery of NT 5.0 is not necessarily behind its latest schedule, even though original estimates for delivery of the massive upgrade date back to late last year--a time-table used at a 1996 Professional Developer's Conference in Long Beach, California.

    Let's see, a timetable used in 1996 showed NT5 being out in late 1997. You're right, it's not 2 years late, it's more than 2 years late.

    • You try to tell that to a guy in the marketing department who consideres Linux/Unix "That hacker OS". :-(

    That's OK. The marketing guy who doesn't understand the value proposition with Linux/Unix won't be around much longer. Or, you can set a reliable Apache server up for the marketing guy at the next company when this one goes under because they have marketing guys with their heads in the sand.

  • [are per-connection licences enforceable?]
    Why would they need to sue you? The server will know how many connections are licensed. When there are as many connections as there are licenses, and someone tries to open a new connection, it will simply fail.

    So you just go to Control Panel and increase the number of connections allowed. Or you hack the registry. The point is, is this legal?

  • So, you just fiddle with a few registry keys.

    It's as legal as using a highlighter in a book you bought.

    I don't know if it is. IANAL, but if you change the registry keys you are modifying the software, which might not be allowed under copyright law (even if you don't copy or distribute the resulting derived work). Using a highlighter in a book is more like adding extra information to the book; if you wanted to, you could write on a separate sheet of paper 'highlight the first paragraph of page 44'. If instead of using a separate sheet you actually write on the book's paper, that's just 'mere aggregation', as the GPL would say. The same would probably apply to making changes or corrections. But changing the Registry, you totally overwrite what was there before.

    Maybe there is a legal difference between adding keys to the Registry (aggregation), and changing the value of keys which are part of the copyrighted Windows software (modification).

    They're just blackmailing jerks, hoping companies will decide it's not worth the risk of a frivolous lawsuit from MS costing them millions.

    If I were a huge multinational using Microsoft software, I would certainly ask my legal department to check whether you could get away with this, and if they said yes, I'd be fairly sure that my company could withstand a lawsuit, frivolous or otherwise. But Microsoft could probably refuse to license software at a discounted price (have to buy it retail) or stop offering support contracts, so you wouldn't want to annoy them.

    I don't know. Any copyright lawyers reading Slashdot?

  • Sure it's enforceable. Have you ever used demo software that said, "Sorry, you can't Save in this version. Please register your software today!"

    No, I meant legally enforceable.

  • If the suggested price for the home user is $219, what is the OEM price going to be, maybe $100+ for good customers (Gateway, Dell, Compaq)?

    And how are these companies going to make money in the sub $1000 market when over 10 % of the wholesale cost is the OS?

    I think MS might be pricing themselves a little high here, they're creating a real market opportunity for a cheaper home OS, be it Linux, FreeBSD or even BeOS.

  • ...and as the gun slowly drops to the floor, and triggers shakes, and a bullet is shot into the foot...

    Yes, there goes M$ shooting itself again. And while this is a puny cost to large corporations, a lot of local isp's and small web hosting companies won't go for this. In fact, apache in linux and/or freebsd is already the largest used server by small hosting companies. This will just make more look at it. Believe me, even though it's a small amount of money, realize that companies are constantly looking for ways to cut back costs, if NT5..errr...W2k is going to raise costs, they will look at alternatives, whether they switch or not, they'll look. It's exposure, it's the same thing Pepsi and Coke pay for on large billboards - and it's good for us. With this, M$ just nailed another nail into it's server-os coffin.

    ...and as a pool of blood slowly gathers on the floor, and falling down to the knees in agony...
  • "There is no question they can price themselves out of that market, which would easily look to alternative [operating systems], like Linux and Unix," according to Aberdeen analyst James Gruener.

    Couldn't have said it better my self. As the price of maintaing the status quo goes up, the up-front cost of switching to an alternative goes down. :)

    I love it. I just hope we see a whole lot more switching taking place. And I, for one, will do what I can to help that along. :)

    ...I guess I may have to learn to write code for real now, huh?


  • by Tau Zero ( 75868 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @06:10AM (#1569748) Journal
    It will make money but it'll lose ISP's and web companies.
    Yes, but ISP's and web companies are the future of computing. Besides, the more they are pushed to Linux/*BSD by financial pressures, the more expertise they'll have (at least ISPs will) to support customers. When Linux/*BSD start to take over the desktops of the newbies, you can get out your shovel.

    How big a hole will it take to bury Microsoft, anyway?

  • by Uruk ( 4907 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @06:10AM (#1569754)
    Never underestimate the amount of time that people are willing to dedicate to pirating software. I have faith that no matter what microsoft does, there will be *somebody*, *somewhere*, who will figure out how to pirate it so that all the w4r3z d00d2 can put it up on their FTP servers.

    It seems like corporations have been fighting a losing battle against piracy ever since the days of the original King's Quest games. I understand why they do it, but I don't know what makes them think they'll actually get ahead this time.

  • Just out of curiosity, is the per-seat licensing model enforceable? I keep hearing people say that because copyright law covers copying, not use, you can do whatever you like with software you have purchased. OTOH there was a law passed in the US giving legal authority to 'licence manager' programs.

    So if you bought a 5-seat licence for Win2k and used it with 6 simultaneous authenticated users, could Microsoft sue you, and what for? Is the situation different inside and outside the US?
  • A couple of notes:

    Windows 2000 is the successor to NT 4, not Windows 98. Later in 2000, Microsoft is planning to ship "Millennium," the final DOS-based Windows product.

    That said, you are exactly right; as PC prices continue to plummet, Microsoft is gradually pricing themselves out of the OEM market. If the reports about Corel Linux are correct, expect to see major gains in Linux OEM deals in 6 months to a year.

    Linux is already beginning to own the ultra-low end (check; they had to create a separate "PC - Linux" category because of this.

    Oh, one more thing, at the risk of stating the obvious: you'd have to be high to use NT for web serving after this move. And, consider this: what do you think the license for NT 6 will be like, given that Microsoft has been gradually eliminating concurrent licensing?

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  • If I decide to put up and I want to sell T-Shirts with my picture on them, for something uninteresting like me five CALs is all I need since I probably won't have more than five people buying at time," Nash predicted.

    Some people are saying that this only counts authenticated NT users, but this statement would that.

    Well, Nash's keyword here is buying. Not browsing. Microsoft is charging for each secure (authenticated) connection. LIke when people hit the "purchase" button.

    Microsoft is going to scare off customers.

    I agree. There will be a lot of confusion regarding the licensing terms, especially if Microsoft's PR department doesn't play their cards right. There will be a lot of people who will mistakenly say that Microsoft is charging for everyone connected via a Web browser, when this is simply not the case. Hopefully it will scare enough people to seek an alternative (Linux and FreeBSD come to mind :)

  • Do you have any idea what the staggering support cost will be of being on the upgrade treadmill from Linux?

    Yes, but "staggering" isn't the right word.

    Can you really afford to hire staffers whose whole job will be to scan Usenet posts and mailing lists to apply the latest security patches?

    No, but having one sysadmin whose job includes checking his email every so often for Red Hat security updates, that's OK. And since he can remotely apply security patches to thousands of machines at once with one command, and can do so without rebooting any of them, the costs would be vastly lower than when a new MS Hotfix or Service Pack comes out.

    Can you afford the downtime to apply the weekly kernel upgrade?

    No, which is why it's good that upgrading the kernel weekly isn't necessary. Every six months or so should do it. Oh, yeah, and that "downtime" will be less than five minutes. Not a problem for your workstations, and you're already doing loadbalancing/failover on your critical servers in case of hardware failure, right? I've had Linux crash due to one kernel bug in the past three years, but I've had network & SCSI cards (and a hard drive) die on me and need replacement at about a part per year.

    Do you still remember when they discovered that there was a millisecond timer in Windows 9x that wrapped after 49.5 days, crashing the machine hard? Do you remember how amusing it was that it took them 4 years to discover this, because nobody expected a Windows machine to stay up for a month anyways?

    Can you afford the support costs of handholding every user who needs to change something?

    Needs to change *what*? Some specific details, rather than cloudy fearmongering, would be useful.

    Something root-level? They shouldn't be changing it anyway. The support costs of ssh'ing in to do something as root are far outweighed by the maintenance costs of fixing the whole damn Mac or Win9x box when some luser deletes the wrong file, installs broken software overwriting system DLLs, or just does something stupid that the OS shouldn't have given him priviledges to do.

    Something user-level? How much time do your employees spend playing with their window manger anyway, and why are they incapable of figuring out how to do it themselves?

    When a power outage hits, can you afford the cost of recovering each desktop machine's fragile ext2fs, a decent percentage of which WILL be permanently corrupted by the sudden power outage?

    1. Use a UPS. Duh.
    2. Use a journaling filesystem. Journaling ext2fs is in beta now, with no killer bugs I've seen. In 6 months it'll be in the default kernel.
    3. Trust ext2fs. I've seen a dozen machines survive dozens of power outages, inadvertantly hit reset buttons, pulled plugs, and similar gaffes. I lost files that hadn't been written to disk once (but even a journaling filesystem won't save buffered data), but I've only seen one partition that wasn't recovered by running fsck. Is NTFS really that much better? Nope.
    4. Don't store important files on the local machine. You can seamlessly mount all your home directories over NFS or CODA, so why have anything in need of saving on your workstations at all? If a workstation dies, throw on a new disk image copy, change the hostname, and you're set.

    These are meant as constructive questions for any IS organization seriously contemplating a major Linux rollout to consider.

    These are questions with simple answers, obvious for anyone who has administered Linux (or any Unix, really) for more than a couple months. I should hope anyone contemplating a major Linux rollout has given it more in depth thought than you have.

    Clue: they've already started thinking about this stuff.

    Clue: They're not omniscient. People go with what they're comfortable with, not what makes the most sense. We've got PC kiosks in the Rice University library with a $200 NT license a piece, to *run a continuous telnet session in a window*. Why not use Win95? Because fixing it when someone maliciously or inadvertently broke it is too messy. Why not use Linux? Because "nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft". People are afraid of change, and will waste money on ludicrous decisions to avoid it.
  • Windows 2000 would tell my customers to go away because I didn't give Microsoft enough money?

    Excellent point. It'll make people who setup secure Web servers think before they upgrade to W2k. Perhaps some of those people will instead choose Linux for their secure Web server?

  • No, because CGI authentication is different. It's not really authentication as far as the webserver is concerned. With W2K's integrated webserver, the OS knows what the webserver knows and vice-versa. So if you use actual HTTP authentication (so the little browser dialogue box pops up asking for username and password), the webserver will need an account for you, hence the OS sees that as a unique client, hence you have to pay the CAL.

    On the other hand, using some sort of CGI authentication, as is the case with most online stores, nobody is authenticated with the webserver software itself, and users are stored in a backend data source.

    I agree that the C-Net article is misleading, as it pretty clearly says that client authentication is required for secure electronic commerce.


  • On what is meant by an "authenticated user". Do they mean a user who has a certificate on their system? Or anyone who's connecting via a secure connection (eg: IPSec or SSL)?

    This is important to figure out, because a dollar to a penny, Microsoft knows what they mean, and aren't just making up verbiage for the fun of it.

    Another thought - maybe this is a Microsoft marketing trick. By ensuring that people NEVER run their computer up to maximum load, it'll never be possible to expose weaknesses in the design, or stress-test the system.

    (Yes, this is still true for large companies with large numbers of customers. They'd have a proportionately more powerful server, which would STILL be rate-capped well below it's maximum load.)

    No, it won't "affect" big business, and yes, they will have a "more stable" server, simply because they'll manipulated into setting it up that way. This won't help Linux or *BSD, unless companies insist on quality control. With QC, you can be sure that Linux and *BSD will come out better than W2K on enough platforms to seriously make a dent in Microsoft's sales. But, as I said, that depends on companies bothering with QC. No QC, no Linux.

  • I've been here pretty much since the beginning (see my UID). I can tell you that the biggest "decline" I have seen in the relatively short history of Slashdot was about 8 months ago, when it began to be infested by Windows advocates.

    When Slashdot started, it was pretty much a given that everyone had no use for Microsoft's rubbish, apart from playing games (I don't even use it for that). So, there were no real flamewars. For some reason, even Linux, BSD and Solaris users were able to get along all right at that time (for the most part).

    Now, astroturfers and Bill Gates fanboys routinely whine about anti-MS bias. Get over it! You wanna read pro-MS stuff? Go to ZDNet [].

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  • At least for servers, there is no *(@#(*@ way you're going to convince me that the buggy black box that is Windows NT is cheaper to deploy and maintain than Linux.

    NT is notorious for acquiring mysterious problems that invoke downtime and long, tedious sessions of trying to figure out what the proper chant is that will make the problem go away.

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  • Honestly? Charging for CAL's for web based traffic is just insane. If i read the article right that is. One company I worked for in the past hated per connection licenses on HPUX. Especially when a certain UNIDATA product would create a new tty for each process it ran. We had plenty of licenses for the users we had but the app was taking up the connections. People dont want to pay for connection fees for thier server products. Maybe I'm spoiled after running bsd/linux for so long ;)
    "We hope you find fun and laughter in the new millenium" - Top half of fastfood gamepiece
  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @06:17AM (#1569815) Homepage
    Customers confused about the previous pricing plan precipitated the change, said Mike Nash, a general manager for Windows 2000. "We found many customers were buying CALs when they didn't need them and still others weren't buying them when they did need them."

    I think we can all see why this statement shows that Microsoft at least has a twisted sense of humor. Now, on to more serious things.

    "If I decide to put up and I want to sell T-Shirts with my picture on them, for something uninteresting like me five CALs is all I need since I probably won't have more than five people buying at one time," Nash predicted.

    Some people are saying that this only counts authenticated NT users, but this statement would contradict that. They are squarely saying that if you're going to have multiple people connecting to your system, you're going to pay for it. This is similar to news outsourcing where a company pays for a number of concurrent connections. They don't pay for all their customers, just the ones they'll expect to be connected at once. Now come the interesting questions. What if you use Apache as your web server and someone tries to connect. Do you have to pay for it? Can you charge for connections to an operating system? This doesn't sound like a feasible pricing scheme to me unless Microsoft is going to implement some sort of connection limiting scheme in its software (highly unlikely, although, like I said, they have a twisted sense of humor).

    Microsoft is going to scare off customers. Either people are going to switch away from MS altogether or they're simply not going to upgrade (more likely). If MS's pricing scheme was iffy before, this one is even more so because it's not based on any real concrete numbers. HTTP connections fluctuate and who's to say that at any given moment you're not going to exceed that limit. Customers are not, under any circumstances, going to pay for connections that, theoretically, they will probably never use. Buying NT for a number of in-house stations is one thing. Buying it for people to buy stuff from is yet another.

    The operating system should be scalable, not the pricing scheme.

  • From ZDNet: On the server side of the house, Microsoft is claiming it will charge half of the estimated street price that Novell Inc. charges for 10-user configurations. For Windows 2000 Server, a 10-user version will cost $1,199 and a 25-user SKU will run $1,799. Upgrading from older versions of NT or from Novell NetWare will cost $599 or $899, for 10- and 25-user versions, respectively.

    Makes me wonder how Novell is going to survive this. They're selling a file+print system for twice the price of a full application server. Is NDS worth twice the price of AD? Perhaps -- but if AD works and is 'good enough', it's going to be compelling for shops that haven't implemented a global directory scheme.

    The other point is that Microsoft obviously sees no real threat that Linux is going to steal their bread and butter file&print market. If they did, they would be more aggressive with 'unlimited connections' pricing schemes
  • This has already been done at least once, to my knowledge: iASP [].

    There is also a tool to convert your ASP to PHP.

    Your you can ditch your "you got your code in my HTML" model entirely, which most people figure out eventually.

    In my experience, most people don't buy NT to use ASP. They use ASP becuase they have NT already installed and ASP is the easiest option on that platform.

  • Who in there right mind would USE NT's SAM to store web users info.

    Let me clarify that a bit: Who in their right mind would use NT?

    I mean, you're trying to apply rational decisions to people who are using something (NT) that they would not be using if they were thinking rationally.

    So, yes, it seems quite possible that the kind of people who would use NT as a web server platform may well be using NT authentication. IIS/MS-SQL kind of steers you that way, too. The real question is whether this licensing applies anyhow, even if you're not using NT authentication (i.e., if you're using another auth scheme), which is not entirely clear. Or what if you're authenticating from another Microsoft-based source (i.e., from a table in SQL Server)?

    Oh, and FYI, NT can take 24 hours or more to CHKDSK a large NTFS drive, under certain circumstances (I personally saw a 1.5 hour CHKDSK on a 4 MB partition).

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  • I've seen a situation where 20,000 Netware 3.x seats were pulled in favor NT. Internal study found that management costs of Novell 4.x were lower, but once Microsoft cut a deal, the per seat cost for Novell was so much higher that it was cheaper to go NT. (Although the conversion ended up going waaaaaay over budget, so it might have been a wash in the end.)

    Anyway, in that situation, Novell was minus 20,000 seats purely due the licence costs.
  • Microsoft's revised scheme for calculating so-called client-access licenses (CALs) could mean additional costs for e-commerce businesses.

    Under the Windows NT 4 licensing program, Microsoft required a CAL for every user accessing a Windows NT server for filing and printing services, but not for Web surfers inside the corporate network or those coming in from the outside. Beginning with Windows 2000 a CAL is necessary for each individual requiring authentication, such as would be necessary for a secure online transaction.

    As a result, customers planning to move e-commerce applications from Windows NT to Windows 2000 could face a price increase.

    "If I decide to put up and I want to sell T-Shirts with my picture on them, for something uninteresting like me five CALs is all I need since I probably won't have more than five people buying at one time," Nash predicted.

    The five-user version of Windows 2000 Server will cost $999, or $499 as an upgrade from a previous version of Windows NT or Novell NetWare.

    Windows 2000 Server with 10 user licenses will be available for $1,199, and the upgrade from Windows NT 4 or NetWare for $599. For 25 users, customers pay $1,799 or $899 if upgrading from Windows NT or NetWare.

    Windows 2000 Advanced Server will cost $3,999 for 25 users or $1,999 as an upgrade from Windows NT 4 Enterprise Edition.

    A customer subscribing to Microsofts volume Open Level B license, for example, deploying 10 Windows 2000 servers with 100 PCs would pay an upgrade price of $22,800; $17,500 for the desktops, $3,700 for the servers, and $1,600 for the client access licenses.

    Microsoft cannot enforce this pricing model unless they move the entire web server market off of UNIX and onto Win2K. The only way they'll succeed in this strategy is to now leverage their superior IE browser market share to force a new proprietary XML based web standard down everyone's throat which would slough off HTTP/DHTTP and SSL for Office 2000/Frontpage content generation, IIS data transport, and SQL-Server for data warehousing along with the dependancy on IE for content presentation. If all these are tied into a single product line in interlocking dependencies, and this is used to present a web based front-end only available to Windows users, we will see if Microsoft can wrench Internet standards away from the standards bodies to force their monopoly from clients up to servers.

    Otherwise, forget it. These prices represent a huge capital outlay for any organization, forget the whole "Total Cost of Ownership" argument, anyone in their right mind can see how expensive this will get for even a small 25 workstation office, never mind a 5000 client enterprise. At the lowest end of the "Open Level B license", for example, that represents about one quarter to one fifth the cost of an Admin... and Microsoft wants that money upfront as a capital outlay, employees take their money across the year in salery. In the face of Linux and FreeBSD competition, this just doesn't fly.

    So, just how do they plan to actually make money with this pricing model, given that they're going to have to wrench the HTTP protocol out of the hands of the standards bodies, while at the same time the DOJ is breathing down their neck, and the rest of the world (see Korea and Japan) seem to be walking away from a Microsoft centric PC world?

    This seems almost a desperate price raising strategy to maintain share value... yet it's ludicrus given obviously cheaper alternatives from even Sun. Let's face it, Sun charges excessive prices for hardware, not software. And they actually deliver reliability in the process... what does Microsoft have to offer in contrast?
  • Now we we be able to add, "50x Too Many Users / Not Enough Licenses." To the wonderful, "404 Not Found," messages. Yeah Microsoft!

    At least people could still install Apache!

  • 90% meaningless? How do you figure that? Just because most people will get it OEM doesn't mean they aren't paying for it. OEMs add in the cost of the OS to their price-tags.

    You're right, it doesn't add up to a lot on $2500 systems, but in the sub$500 market, it's a huge chunk of machine cost. This is a place where Linux (or a BSD) could fit ideally. Systems where the only applications that an end-user will need are Web-browsing and Word processing. Here, Linux is just as good, if not better, than windows; It's cheaper, it's more stable, and the apps are already there.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • I seriously can't tell by your post if you're humorous, stupid or sarcastic? :)

    "Maybe it says something about how competitive the OS market is?"

    Drop it. There has been no real competition out there for years and years. Only now has Linux come forward as a completely free alternative. Says something about the market that the only reasonable competition Microsoft has is free. Go figure on that one.

    And no matter how expensive the OS is, consumers will likely not notice. Maybe they'll think that Dell and Gateway have dropped their lowest-end configurations. Maybe the companies will use the system requirements of W2K to boost the complement of RAM, add faster CPU's etc, in order to get their average selling prices back up. Consumers will get more for their money, but they'll have to spend more of their money as well. And not one will think it's because of the brand new OS on their computer that caused the chain of events.

    Regardless, this is Microsofts attempt to gauge the market. They have so much clout that OEM's wont really have a choice. They can slide Dell W2K licenses for the same cost as they paid for Win9x. Then the other OEM's will want W2K to have feature parity with Dell's systems, and Microsoft offer slight discounts if the OEM's stop installing Win9x on machines. After a while, Microsoft can raise it's price back above it's introductory price at the same moment it discontinues Win9x for once and for all.
    Conspiracy? Paranoid? We'll see.
  • This would be a Bad Idea anyways. Anyone who designs a system to allow outside Internet users to authenticate against some sort of internal user database is asking for trouble. Even the Apache docs chastise you for even thinking about using /etc/passwd as a source for *web* authentication. My guess is that they are talking about Intranet users connecting to some sort of authenticating Intranet web system.

    Why is this (outside authentication) bad? Anyone anywhere in the world can just hammer on your system trying to brute force common passwords.

    Ref: h
  • Well, that supposes that you are using Microsoft server software on NT 2K. Presumably the license fee for NT would also apply if you were using Apache.

    So it is not enforceable by technical means (unless some trap doors are built into the networking), but if you were into e-commerce in a large way you'd be foolish to mess with it, especially because as a platform NT has very little to recommend it as a web server (unless you are so married to VB that you have to use ASPs).
  • Why would they need to sue you? The server will know how many connections are licensed. When there are as many connections as there are licenses, and someone tries to open a new connection, it will simply fail.

    It's enforcable in software. Don't need courts.

  • I guess the only thing left to charge us for is to speak the name of their products. Maybe we will require a CAL to acces the web server and a CSL (client speech license) to speak of it. Think of it, each aritcle on /. will then be generating revenue for the financially struggling M$. If we refuse to pay the dues, we are hauled off to court for violating their license agreement. I think it's time to look harder at Solaris. Let's see now, it's cheaper, faster, more reliable, more open, more scalable, and runs on at two platforms (which is no longer true of NT).

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears