AMD Applauds Microsoft's Decision to License Server Software by Processor

@ 2004/10/19
AMD's Recommendation for Multi-Core Software Licensing is Endorsed; AMD Applauds Microsoft's Decision to License Server Software by Processor, Not by Core

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct 19, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- AMD (AMD) supports Microsoft's software licensing decision for their server software for multi-core processors. Microsoft server software, which is currently licensed by the number of processors in the server, will continue to be licensed in that model for server hardware that contains dual-core and multi-core processors, and will not be licensed according to the number of processor cores.

Since AMD furthered its industry leadership in multi-core computing by demonstrating the industry's first x86 dual-core processor in August, AMD has strongly advocated this customer-centric software licensing strategy for both server and client software.

"AMD is committed to help businesses transition to multi-core technology in the least disruptive way possible, and Microsoft's licensing decision is a major component to enable that migration," said Marty Seyer, corporate vice president and general manager for AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit, Computation Products Group. "I haven't spoken with a single IT manager who wants to swap out their current servers just to upgrade to multi-core technology. With AMD Opteron(TM) processor-based hardware, the upgradeability to upcoming dual-core AMD Opteron processors, and Microsoft's software licensing plans, the IT community will be able to reap the rewards of multi-core technology without the pain of upheaval."

"Microsoft's licensing strategy will help facilitate the broad adoption of multi-core server technology," said Brent Callinicos, corporate vice president of Worldwide Licensing and Pricing at Microsoft Corp. "We are continuing to work closely with industry-leading partners like AMD to create a multi-core ecosystem that meets the needs of customers across the industry."

Multi-core processors are a logical evolution in performance improvements for multi-tasking environments, and dual-core AMD64 processors with Direct Connect Architecture are expected to more efficiently support those multi-tasking demands. Dual-core AMD Opteron processors are expected to be socket compatible with the 90nm single-core AMD Opteron packaging. This approach follows the AMD customer-centric approach of safeguarding software investments while delivering industry-leading processor innovation and enabling an easy migration path.

Dual-core AMD Opteron(TM) processors are scheduled to be available in mid-2005, and by early 2006, AMD expects the majority of its server processors being shipped will be dual core. Dual-core AMD64 processors for PCs are expected to be available beginning in the second half of 2005.

Comment from Sidney @ 2004/10/20
Microsoft helps dual-core chip effort

Software leader shifts pricing system for new processors

By Chris Kraeuter, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 1:51 PM ET Oct 19, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- In a positive development for chipmakers, Microsoft on Tuesday announced a pricing policy on software licenses for an emerging group of computer processors that averts the possibility of multiple charges for what is actually a single chip.

Microsoft (MSFT) made the licensing decision at a time when chip companies like Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel (INTC) get closer to rolling out so-called multicore processors for high-powered corporate servers.

Multicore processors contain more than one processing execution unit, or brain, on a single chip, allowing them to more effectively perform multiple functions. In essence, dual-core processors can appear to function like two chips.

Traditionally, Microsoft had licensed its software based on the number of processors included in a server. The introduction of multicore processors posed the possibility that the software industry leader might charge multiple licenses for what is actually a single chip.

"Microsoft is approaching this decision with the goal of driving high volume and high value to standards-based computing through logical licensing and more cost-effective adoption of multicore processors," the company said in a statement.

It said the licensing decisions would apply to several products in its Windows Server System, including SQL Server and BizTalk Server.

AMD executives had hoped Microsoft would push its pricing system in the direction it did. "AMD is committed to help businesses transition to multicore technology in the least disruptive way possible, and Microsoft's licensing decision is a major component to enable that migration," said Marty Seyer, corporate vice president for the company's microprocessor business unit.

AMD plans on making its dual-core Opteron chips for servers available in the middle of 2005, with the majority of its server chips shipping with dual cores in early 2006.

Intel has stated its dual-core chips will be ready for all three of its major product lines -- servers, desktops and mobiles -- in late 2005.

The company will start the server rollout with a dual-core Itanium 2 and follow it in 2006 with a dual-core Xeon.

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