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In brief: Microsoft adjusts per-processor pricing

Mar 17, 20034 mins
Enterprise Applications

Plus: ISS warns of possible PeopleSoft 8 Web hole; IETF to discuss problems; DSL growth picks up steam; SAP founder to step down as co-CEO; WorldCom writes off goodwill.

Microsoft last week altered its per-processor pricing policy in an effort to align itself with the way competitors such as Oracle price software. Microsoft has been criticized for requiring customers to purchase licenses to correspond to the number of processors on a machine, whether or not those processors are used to run Microsoft’s server software. For example, a copy of SQL Server running on a single processor on a 16-way server would require 16 licenses.

Under the new licensing, users will need to buy licenses based only on the number of processors used.

“Microsoft wants to be competitive, and it needs to rebuild and repair customer trust in the wake of their Licensing 6.0 program,” says Alvin Park, an analyst with Gartner. Licensing 6.0, begun last year, meant higher licensing fees for many customers.

The servers that fall under the new pricing are Application Center, BizTalk, Microsoft Operations Manager, Host Integration Server, Content Management Server, Commerce Server, Internet Security and Acceleration Server, and SQL Server.

Internet Security Systems is warning of a potential security compromise in the Web server component in certain versions of PeopleSoft 8. A Java servlet used in the PeopleSoft Tools reporting function, which is part of the standard PeopleSoft configuration, could be exploited by a malicious user to run arbitrary code on the affected server. ISS believes this could lead to a complete server compromise. A patch is available to PeopleSoft customers via the company’s support Web site.

The Internet Engineering Task Force will meet in San Francisco this week to discuss, among other things, problems within its internal structure that might be throwing hurdles in the way of protocol work. At its last meeting in November, the IETF formed a working group, dubbed Problem, after hearing concerns from members that the standards-setting body was moving too slowly and was not adequately responding to real-world issues. As a result, a mailing list was initiated for members to share concerns about IETF processes, and in February a draft statement outlining those concerns was submitted.

DSL growth picked up steam in the second half of last year, according to an analysis by research firm Point Topic. Providers worldwide added 10.3 million DSL connections in the second half of 2002, compared with only 6.9 million new lines in the first half of the year, bringing the total number of DSL connections to 35.9 million. North American providers added 1.2 million lines in the second half of 2002, compared with 888,000 lines in the first half of the year.

SAP announced last week that company founder Hasso Plattner will step down as co-CEO. Henning Kagermann, who has been sharing the CEO title with Plattner since 1998, will assume the sole CEO role. Plattner founded the business software maker in 1972 with four colleagues from IBM. He is the last of the five founders to relinquish active control of operations at the German company, which today is Europe’s largest software maker. The company said Plattner’s retirement is effective May 9, when he will join the company’s 16-member supervisory board, which advises and supervises the company’s executive leadership.

WorldCom last week announced it has written off $79.8 billion in goodwill and other assets as the telecom company struggles to recover from the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Goodwill is a dollar amount placed on intangible factors such as the value of a company’s reputation and anticipated future earnings, in excess of asset value. Generally accepted accounting principles call for goodwill to be written off over time, but usually on a more gradual schedule.