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Microsoft to charge hefty sum for new thin-client terminals

Microsoft to charge hefty sum for new thin-client terminals

Say the word terminal and most people think cheap. Think again when it comes to Windows-based terminals. The fact is, some end users may experience a bit of sticker shock when they see Microsoft's upcoming thin-client product.

Microsoft last week told US channel partners to budget for the software, now called Windows NT Terminal Server Edition (TSE), as if they were deploying Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on desktops and NT Server 4.0 on servers. Final pricing will be announced nearer to the June shipping date.

Besides the cost of the device, usually about $US600, and assorted server licences, users may have to cough up as much as $US320 per seat for the NT Workstation licence. The overall Microsoft software tab could reach over $US450 per seat. And you can forget about concurrent licensing. Microsoft will charge for every user that has the potential to log on.

Users accustomed to low-cost text terminals may find the prices jarring, and so may current users of Citrix Systems' WinFrame software, on which the Microsoft product is based. That's partly because Citrix uses a concurrent licensing model, which counts only users actually logged on to WinFrame.

The pricing structure means companies deploying TSE will pay for an NT Server licence, an NT Workstation licence for each Windows-based Terminal and a Client Access Licence (CAL) to allow the terminal to access the server.

"The Microsoft pricing looks pretty rough,'' said Scott Gorcester, president of Moose Logic, a US-based Citrix systems integrator.

Microsoft defended its pricing turf. "We don't believe in pricing Windows in concurrent licensing,'' said John Frederiksen, a product manager for TSE.

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