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Free Copies of W2K Advanced Server Available in Windows Web Hoster Program

When it comes to competing with open source free software like Linux and Apache, Microsoft isn’t willing to uncloak its code yet. But Microsoft recently showed it is willing to try a little bit of the free part to get its foot in a Web hoster’s door.

Friday at ISPCON, Brian Valentine, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Windows Division, announced a change to the Windows Web Hoster Program that can result in up to 25 free licenses of Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Application Service Providers (ASPs) are open source enthusiasts in part because the free replication of Linux and Apache across multiple servers in a Web server farm represents a massive savings over Windows in OS licensing costs alone. Under the new clause in Microsoft’s program, an ISP or ASP with at least 100 unique, registered customer domains on a server qualifies for a free copy of Windows 2000 Advanced Server. Microsoft will provide a copy of Windows 2000 for every server hosting 100 customer domains, up to 25 free licenses.

Those licenses come on top of the program’s other benefits, which include one free copy of Windows 2000 Advanced Server, a free support incident, a 50 percent discount on a Windows 2000 Server training course, and free access to Web hosting support newsgroups monitored by Microsoft.

As always with Microsoft deals, there is red tape. Participants must actually use Windows 2000 Advanced Server on a production server within 90 days and display the Powered by Windows 2000 Server logo and a Windows 2000 Web Hosting Service offer.

List price for Windows 2000 Advanced Server license with 25 CALs is $3,999, although published volume licensing prices can be half that, and customers buying in volume frequently negotiate lower prices. Scott Bekker

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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