Microsoft is set to increase the price of Windows NT by more than 40% with the forthcoming release of the Enterprise Edition of the operating system.
Although final pricing has yet to be set, the cost of NT Server Enterprise Edition in a TPCC (Transaction Processing Council) benchmark worked out at $3,999 (#2,499) for a 25-user licence, an increase of $1,200 over the price of NT Server 4.0.
TPCC is an indication of street price as the benchmark calculation is based on pricing submitted by the software developers.
Microsoft confirmed there would be a price increase with the release of NT Enterprise Edition, which is due to ship within the next three months, but said the rise reflects the increased functionality of the product.
David Bridger, product manager, BackOffice systems division at Microsoft, said: "Scalability and high availability via Wolfpack (clustering technology) are the most important benefits of NT Enterprise Edition."
Asked if Enterprise Edition would cost more than a similarly configured Unix system, Bridger said: "Undoubtedly the cost of an NT system will be cheaper than a Unix system."
However, in order to exploit Wolfpack, users will need to purchase a second NT system, putting up the cost even further.
Bridger countered that companies adopting Wolfpack clustering would benefit from economies of scale. "It works out cheaper because (firms) can centralise more of the processing. Also, in a two-node cluster, usage of both servers is very high. There is no redundancy," he said.
Another key feature of the Enterprise Edition is out-of-the-box support for 8-way symmetric multi-processing (SMP). The majority of hardware and software systems today are 4-way, but server manufacturers are working on 8-way machines.
NT: PRICE GUIDE
5-user licence - $809
10-user licence - $1,129
25-user licence - $2,800
additional single client - $39.95
additional 20 clients - $659
Windows Enterprise Server Edition - anticipated pricing 25-user licence - $3,999.
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