Oracle has changed its licensing terms to charge per-socket rather than per-processor on its Standard Edition and Standard Edition One software.
The move brings Oracle in line with Microsoft's pricing policy, and could help the company significantly in the data centre market where multi-core processors are fast becoming standard. The changes will apply from 16 February.
"For the past several months, Oracle has been working closely with our customers and hardware partners to address the recent advances in multi-core processor chips," said Oracle in a statement.
"To meet these needs, Oracle is changing its licensing policy regarding multi-core chips."
However, Oracle is keeping its rather arcane system for determining costs for its high-end Database Enterprise Edition set up in 2005. Here the number of processors is counted but reduced by adding a multiplier.
For example, an eight-core UltraSPARC TI chip is multiplied by 0.25, thus two licences are needed, and a four-core AMD processor is multiplied by 0.5. Other multi-core processors are multiplied by a factor of 0.75.
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