Microsoft to tweak Windows pricing for hosting providers

Microsoft will be making changes to its Windows Server pricing in January 2011 that will affect companies that are in the commercial hosting business.

Microsoft will be making changes to its Windows Server pricing in January 2011 that will affect companies that are in the commercial hosting business.

As of January 1, Microsoft will be chopping the price of several of its Windows Server SKUs -- Server 2008 R2 Web, Standard and Enterprise -- by 21 percent for those who purchase Windows Server via a Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA). At the same time, Microsoft will be raising the price of one SKU -- Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter -- by 30 percent, come January 1. The changes affect only those licensing via the SPLA and not any other volume-licensing agreement, according to the company.

Microsoft is attributing the price change to a desire to "better align SPLA prices with subscription prices."

Company officials also are positioning the 30 percent price increase on Datacenter, which includes unlimited virtualization rights, as a price decrease. Since the Datacenter SKU was launched, "server capacity in terms of cores has doubled, significantly increasing the performance value," according to officials.

More from an MSDN blog post explaining the changes:

"Why is the price of Windows Server 2008 DataCenter (WS DC) for SPLA providers going up? Truth be told, it’s going down.  That’s not PR spin or some hocus-pocus math factoring Moore’s Law. The current price for SPLA on WS DC is a limited promotional price. The original announced price was almost double. MSFT deferred the implementation of the full price in 2009 and again in 2010. As we have moved closer to January 1, 2011, feedback on the implementation of the full price was as consistent as it was intense. That feedback compelled us to look at the non-promotional WS DC price again.

"After a lot of math, a lot of feedback, and more math, we made a decision to lower the January 1st price on DC. Specifically, instead of retiring the promotional price and doubling the price, we have landed on a much more modest increase of 30% which we think will be welcome news to our service provider partners when considering the original plan."

Any service providers have any feedback -- positive or not -- on Microsoft's planned pricing changes?

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