Microsoft Expected To Hold The Line On W2K Pricing - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Expected To Hold The Line On W2K Pricing

Microsoft will debut Windows 2000 server products at pricescomparable to Windows NT 4 and justify pricing of its high- end DataCenter Server with performance gains, say customers and integrators briefed by the company.

Microsoft has told its largest customers and service providers that list pricing for Windows 2000 Server will range from $300 to $700, depending on the number of client licenses and other features; Windows 2000 Advanced Server will retail for around $3,000; and Windows 2000 DataCenter Server will run about $10,000. A popular upgrade version of Windows NT Server 4 now carries a list price of $329; Windows NT 4 Enterprise Edition retails for $3,199. Microsoft officials would not comment on pricing.

While these prices don't reflect the deep discounts afforded customers who buy in volume or through licensing programs, they suggest Microsoft intends to hold pricing steady for Windows 2000, expected to ship early next year. And DataCenter Server, scheduled for release three to four months later, won't be sold on price, say people familiar with the company's plans.

Microsoft president Steve Ballmer has argued that total cost of ownership is receding in importance as customers look to the company for more scalable, more reliable systems that can run key enterprise applications. An IS manager at a multibillion-dollar company says adequate technical support will help determine whether he buys the upgraded operating system. "We tend to have to reboot an NT server every 30 days," he says. "If they want to play in that space, they've got to support that."

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