WinInfo Daily UPDATE, February 24, 2005

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In the News

- SQL Server Heads to the Workgroup, Gets a Price Increase

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

SQL Server Heads to the Workgroup, Gets a Price Increase

The oft-delayed Microsoft SQL Server 2005 family of products will finally ship midyear, the company announced this week, and it will feature a new product lineup and higher prices. For starters, Microsoft is adding a SQL Server Workgroup Edition. But that product won't wait for SQL Server 2005. Instead, Microsoft is launching SQL Server 2000 Workgroup Edition this spring, ahead of the SQL Server 2005 launch.
"The industry has changed since we introduced SQL Server 2000," Microsoft Senior Vice President Paul Flessner said. "With the new SQL Server 2005 product line, we've increased the breadth of our data management solutions to offer more choices to customers. We're now better equipped to offer solutions that meet the technological and budgetary requirements of our customers. Our goal is to make enterprise-class data management and analysis affordable to a wide range of customers while driving complexity out of database systems, all at a lower total cost of ownership."
The SQL Server 2005 product family will comprise four editions: Express Edition, Workgroup Edition, Standard Edition, and Enterprise Edition. SQL Server 2005 Express Edition will be free and aimed at developers. SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition is "database only;" it lacks the reporting services, business intelligence (BI), and other features in the higher-end versions and targets small and medium-sized businesses small to midsized businesses (SMBs). SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition is described as a "complete data and analysis platform" that's aimed at medium-sized midsized businesses. And SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition provides a foundation for mission-critical business applications of any size.
SQL Server 2005 pricing might be controversial because Microsoft is raising prices on the standard and enterprise editions. SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition jumps to $24,999 per processor, up from $19,999 for the SQL Server 2000 version. SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition, meanwhile, is limited to four processor servers but now supports 64-bit processors. This product will see a 20 percent price hike as the per-processor price jumps to $5999.
To counter concerns about the price hikes, the new workgroup edition will sell for $3899 per processor, although that product caps out at two processors and 3GB of RAM (the standard edition has no RAM limit). Microsoft also notes that SQL Server 2005 offers an amazing array of new functionality when compared with its predecessor, further justifying the price increase. And SQL Server pricing still generally undercuts that of similar products from Oracle or IBM.
To support the new SQL Server 2005 products, PC giant Dell says that it will bundle SQL Server 2000 and 2005 Workgroup Standard Editions with its PowerEdge servers, machines that are aimed at SMBs. Dell also announced a new price/performance TPC Benchmark C (TPC-C) for using SQL Server 2000 Workgroup Edition on its servers. The new record of $1.40/tpmC is a 10-cent improvement over the previous record, which used SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition.
And in related news, Microsoft representatives revealed this week that the company is considering whether it should make the SQL Server 2005 source code available to its customers. This being Microsoft, the code wouldn't be open source, of course, but instead would be released under the terms of the company's more restrictive Shared Source program. But it's interesting to see Microsoft try to make its products more transparent in the face of open-source threats such as MySQL and PostgreSQL.

==== Events and Resources ====

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