Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Windows IT

MS Drops Licensing Restrictions from Web Server 2008 226

Posted by Soulskill
from the retrograde-innovation dept.
Channel Guy writes "According to a report from CRN, Microsoft plans to allow users of the Web Server SKU in Windows Server 2008 to 'run any type of database software with no limit on the number of users, provided they deploy it as an Internet-facing front-end server.' The previous limit was 50 users. Microsoft's partners expect the changes to go a long way toward making Windows Web Server 2008 more competitive with the LAMP stack, against which Microsoft has been making headway in recent months."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MS Drops Licensing Restrictions from Web Server 2008

Comments Filter:
  • by filbranden (1168407) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:24AM (#21905542)

    With Windows Web Server 2008 you'll still have to pay for the OS. With LAMP it's free.

    Windows Server 2008 is the server version of Vista. Will it have the same licensing model? Will this unlimited Windows Web Server be available only in the Ultimate version?

    In any case, this shows that Microsoft is getting desperate, and even with this I don't think they'll get any market share from LAMP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by calebt3 (1098475)
      Still, organizations that shy away from Windows Server because of the sheer number of licenses they would have to buy on limited funding (think: schools) will now be more open to it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by poopdeville (841677)
        This is silly though. Web services only need one "user" -- the user that connect to the database on behalf of the server.
        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:48AM (#21905752) Journal
          If you're a hosting service, or if you're serving up databases for multiple web clients, then it's quite possible that you might have dozens of different users. I don't know about you, but when I've got multiple databases on a server for different people, I don't tend to want to give everyone access to the entire show.

          Still, LAMP is free, so unless they're going to start giving away Server 2008, they can keep it.
          • by jacquesm (154384) <j@@@ww...com> on Friday January 04, 2008 @01:36AM (#21906100) Homepage
            Even if they're going to give it away they can keep it. There are far more benefits to open source than sticker price alone.
          • by pembo13 (770295) on Friday January 04, 2008 @03:45AM (#21906814) Homepage

            Still, LAMP is free, so unless they're going to start giving away Server 2008, they can keep it.

            I have to take issue with this statement.

            Let us assume a LAMP stack which comes via a support subscription (eg. RHEL). And lets assume variables such as customer support and pricing are equal, I would still go with the LAMP stack. I have experience with both, and I find LAMP to be easier to use yet much more versatile. A Microsoft web stack can definitely get the job done... but I find things easier to accomplish with LAMP -- I definitely don't work with Microsoft stacks without getting paid for it.

        • by foniksonik (573572) on Friday January 04, 2008 @04:44AM (#21907052) Homepage Journal
          Not if you're using it with a Active Directory system with automatic login to an intranet ala Sharepoint...

          I agree with your logic but MS doesn't do logic... they do licenses and IP... so all of their technology is set up on the premise that they need you to buy lots of licenses to do 'anything'...

          though when you do cough up enough money, their integrated suites of software are pretty useful, as long as you need to do exactly what the software is capable of and nothing else.

          As soon as you need to do something else, you'll either have to hire an extremely over-priced development firm, a team of developers and all the overhead of a new department - or wait until MS decides that enough of your peers want to buy the thing you need for it to be profitable to them.

           
        • by rvw (755107) on Friday January 04, 2008 @04:44AM (#21907056)

          This is silly though. Web services only need one "user" -- the user that connect to the database on behalf of the server.
          That is not the way Microsoft defines a user. A Microsoft "user" is any person who uses the website. So if you have thousands of users, you have to pay for thousands of CALs, or take a server-license (one price no matter how many users).
      • by a-zarkon! (1030790) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:35AM (#21905626)
        And if or when they decide they've recaptured sufficient market share they will increase their fees...either through licensing of connections or functionality. I must confess that I find this pretty amusing. I think (and hope) they're going to have a tougher time killing off this competitor...
        • by Percy_Blakeney (542178) on Friday January 04, 2008 @02:55AM (#21906558) Homepage

          And if or when they decide they've recaptured sufficient market share they will increase their fees

          I think (and hope) they're going to have a tougher time killing off this competitor...

          I think you've alluded to the most interesting part of this story: Microsoft is being forced to lower their prices (or even eliminate them) in order to compete with free software. This isn't a new phenomenon, of course -- they haven't been able to charge for IIS or IE, for example, due to competition from free software -- but it seems that it is happening frequently.

          If I had stock in MSFT, I would start selling it once they announce that they've made any significant reduction in the cost of MS Office; it's one of the biggest cash cows for the company, and any sign of weakness in that space is their worst nightmare.

        • The thing about free software is that it is nowhere near as vulnerable to market pressure as a traditional competitor. When the price of linux or firefox or openoffice is free the best MS can do is match it they can never undercut it and because the software is free to start with it is rather hard to cut off developments air supply through market pressure either.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by joeytmann (664434)
        Actually licensing for public schools is dirt cheap when compared to private business licensing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Osty (16825)

      Windows Server 2008 is the server version of Vista. Will it have the same licensing model? Will this unlimited Windows Web Server be available only in the Ultimate version?

      That's not exactly a fair comparison. While Windows Server 2008 is the same codebase as Windows Vista, it's not "just" the server version of Vista. By that same rationale, Windows Server 2003 was "just" the server version of Windows XP. However Windows Server 2003 had different SKUs than XP with different licensing models, and you can

      • by Plunky (929104)

        That's not exactly a fair comparison. While Windows Server 2008 is the same codebase as Windows Vista, it's not "just" the server version of Vista.

        If its the same codebase and the only difference is that with one 'version' you get licenced to tie your shoelaces with your left hand and with the other one you get licenced to allow your mother to tie your shoelaces or on the gripping hand you can get another licence that costs 20x more which allows anybody in your family to do the same, then I say that you'

    • by WebCowboy (196209) on Friday January 04, 2008 @01:14AM (#21905950)
      The base cost of Windows Web Server is in the area of $400. This is as good as zero for the people that host 90% or more of the active hosts out there. Only hobbyists and small-time outfits that run their own hosts would mind a measly $400. However, the bulk of small-time outfits with an on-line presence (most of the the 90%) use a hosting service. They buy some frontpage-template-cookie-cutter "e-commerce kit" and run with it. They do not control or administer the server and most probably don't even care that they might be hosting their site on a Microsoft system, or Linux or BSD for that matter.

      There was notable uptake in MSFT market share with the original release of Web Edition--just after the last time MSFT flirted with 1/3 market share they started losing it rapidly again, and its release temporarily kept them in the 30% range before it dropped back down to the low 20s for a long time. Win2k3 Web Server was found to be well suited to "parking pages" and "basic hosting services" for big-time web hosting companies--for those sites that are static and have little to no e-commerce and content-management requirements.

      MSFT ran into a wall however because Web Edition has a lot of sometimes-severe limitations. Notably there are restrictions on number of database users and other back-end and connectivity issues that required CALs or other VERY EXPENSIVE ($5000 and up) licensing. For example, you are limited to workgroup security only, with only 10 SMB connections (something like XP Home Edition's capabilities in terms of Windows networking) so if Windows Networking is used to maintain the files on a host of a large number of little sites you can hit a snag there. Web Edition also is not permitted to work with SharePoint services, or use Rights Management services either. So, it looks attractive to start with, but when you want to do anything more useful than host a bunch of "electronic brochures" or domain parking then MSFT wants to rape your wallet.

      As for your query, despite the common codebase with Vista, the Server product line is not likely to bear any resemblance to the Vista product line. the Server OSes maintain the "model year" designation they've had since 2000. There will be no "basic/premium/business/ultimate"; it will merely evolve from the product line since 2000: standard/enterprise/datacentre/SBS/Web, with "File server" and "Medium business" targeted editions thrown in as new choices. The "File Server" edition will be a purpose-built, reduced-cost version targeted at Linux/BSD with Samba installs no doubt. Just as always, I expect the web server will be available on the same editions as in 2003, but will only be "unlimited" if you buy the cheap web edition or spend thousands on "external connector licenses" or CALs.
      • Only hobbyists and small-time outfits that run their own hosts would mind a measly $400

        Last time I checked, Slashdot [slashdot.org] was still using Linux.

        So... Is it a hobby? Or a small-time outfit? :-D

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jacquesm (154384)
          or as another example, try Google
          I'd love to see someone do something on the scale of google and *NOT* use Linux.
        • by WebCowboy (196209) on Friday January 04, 2008 @02:02AM (#21906240)
          So... Is it a hobby? Or a small-time outfit? :-D

          ---->point

              (you)
          ----------

          Actually, yes it was both when it started. Slashdot started as "Chips and Dips", Malda's personal website in 1997. Soon after he and a few buddies started writing a bit of Perl code to allow for discussion and moderation around the articles they posted. It was, in that brief early time exactly that: a small-time hobbyist outfit.

          Of course now it is the mother of all sites and corporately owned. And in fact, Sourceforge Incorporated probably does indeed consider $400 to be chump change. The savings in licensing costs very long ago ceased to be relevant in the choice to use Linux and Apache for Slashdot. Consider these observations:

          1) Slashdot STARTED as a "small time hobby outfit" which made the initial choice of Linux, Apache and Perl the only real choice when cost WAS a factor. Linux or FreeBSD were the only vialble and affordable OS options as well, at a time when expensive Solaris was closed-server-OS king.

          2) Slashdot started in 1997. Back then MS Windows NT Server and IIS sucked worse than a $2 hooker. Apache was king and all the rest were expensive, or sucked or both. Linux and Apache could take a daily slashdotting on a couple of boxes whereas Windows NT would have to reboot daily and would require a full height rack packed with server gear to do the same.

          3) if it aint broke don't fix it--there is a lot of time and effort put into the perl code and MySQL database that is used in slashcode. When they needed to handle the load they deployed it over mod_perl. To move to Windows would require a lot of work to completely rewrite the app, or else tons of frustration dealing with putting Apache and nod_perl onto Windows.

          4) Politics. Slashdot is news for NERDS. Windows is pointy-haired-boss/MCSE-dweeb stuff. Linux and BSD and Apache and other Free software is "elite". Slashdot is also all about Free software as The Right Thing to Do. WHy would an advocate of open source put any effort into deploying its premiere site using closed tools, even if it were cheaper or had technical advantages? It'd be like Microsoft migrating servers to Linux.
          • The point got missed because you were making what (on the surface) appeared to be a pro-Microsoft post. I doubt they read much further than that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            Slashdot started in 1997. Back then MS Windows NT Server and IIS sucked worse than a $2 hooker. Apache was king and all the rest were expensive, or sucked or both. Linux and Apache could take a daily slashdotting...

            So what you're saying is that slashdot was designed to withstand a slashdotting? Now that's forward thinking!
      • The base cost of Windows Web Server is in the area of $400. This is as good as zero for the people that host 90% or more of the active hosts out there. Only hobbyists and small-time outfits that run their own hosts would mind a measly $400.
        It sounds believable until your company decides to scale. Licensing like this can limit growth, especially at the earlier stages when it really counts.
      • "Only hobbyists and small-time outfits that run their own hosts would mind a measly $400."

        That is just the tip of the Microsoft corporate licensing nightmare. At my government agency employer, we only use Linux for all our web servers. Why? Because we are developers and we want to drop a web/database/file/email/proxy/printer/whatever server wherever it is needed without being bogged down in a sea of Microsoft red tape.

        GPL means one simple licence: use it on any machine you want, whenever you want. Absolute
    • by Allador (537449)
      Although they both share a line of kernels, its not accurate or useful to say that Server 2008 is the server version of Vista.

      That's like saying that Server 2003 is the server version of XP.

      In addition, the article is about the licensing model of the web-server version of server 2008. No cals, just a flat fee, etc.

      There's no concept of an 'ultimate version' on the web-server version of the server 2008.

      The web-edition is what version it is.
    • by Ucklak (755284)
      Still can't stream media without a license for each file.
  • by Stamen (745223) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:25AM (#21905546)
    In response to today's Microsoft announcement the Apache Software Foundation announces that they will cut their price by 100% and increase the allowed number of users to googolplex + 1.

    • by Junta (36770)

      increase the allowed number of users to googolplex + 1

      That would constitute a decrease *and* be less than the Microsoft offering. You clearly meant infinity*2.

      Seriously, to what extent was Netcraft's status gamed by microsoft ala that situation where Microsoft got their platform as the return for ungodly numbers of parked domains vs. how much of reflects an actual legitimate uptake of their platform in the face of Apache? I haven't seen any technical/logistic reason for them to be suddenly gaining ground (maybe this move would have some impact), so I was wo

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)
        I haven't seen any technical/logistic reason for them to be suddenly gaining ground (maybe this move would have some impact), so I was wondering if it is really happening and if so why.

        I guess it couldn't possibly be because IIS6 is freakin' fast and memory-efficient? It also couldn't have anything to do with the great .net application stack that corporations are adopting in droves. Or that Windows Server 2003 sets up balanced clustering with failover with very little brain activity needed on part of the ad
        • by Stamen (745223)
          You almost had me there. We done sir, well done... classic sarcasm at its best.
        • I'm guessing you haven't used IIS6 in production. It's neither.
          • by jerw134 (409531)
            I run many IIS6 servers, in both production and development environments. It is definitely fast and memory efficient. I think you missed the memo to get off the IIS bashing train when 6 came out. It's actually a damn good web server, and more secure than Apache 2 to boot!
            • by segedunum (883035)

              It's actually a damn good web server, and more secure than Apache 2 to boot!
              Based on what? Any presumed credibility takes a steep nosedive when you see comments like that.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by netik (141046)
          I have to wonder if it's because of increased security efforts by people using Apache to turn off ServerTokens so that the system no longer advertises what version of software is running in production?

          Most of the servers that we run in production do not announce they run apache, but I don't know of any way of turning this off in IIS.

          It's not like 2005 came around and suddenly people stopped using Apache. There must be an explanation for the massive decline in Netcraft's charts
  • by Junta (36770) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:32AM (#21905598)
    Since 2008 will be based on the Vista core, you'll need a dedicated person to sit at the console to address the "Someone is trying to access your website, cancel or alaw?" dialogs.
    • by RuBLed (995686) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:38AM (#21905646)
      yes, but now you could have more than 50 dedicated persons answering Allow or Cancel...
      • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan,jared&gmail,com> on Friday January 04, 2008 @01:25AM (#21906028)
        Didn't you read the article! The primary focus is not "to increase market share" against MySQL and Apache as the Netcraft fud would have you believe. The real reason is this is a surreptitious physical-user based fix to sending out too many cancel allow dialogs. Microsoft completely misjudged the boxes functionality and popularity, which resulted in masses of dialog boxes being excessively consumed. Microsoft was getting so many bug reports about exhausted screen space from all the boxes that they had to something. This is just another case of MS providing relief to customers who are unable to responsibly control their MS lust, in this case for cancel allow dialogs.

        I swear it was in the article. Why are you all looking at me? What?!
      • Clearly this is possible if you buy another machine and by 50 CALs.
  • Google (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pweitz (646666) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:36AM (#21905630)
    Netcraft reports that Google has 7.39% of all active web servers in their survey. Does that really mean that 7.39% of all web servers on the web are run by Google? Thats as interesting to me as the Apache vs. MS numbers.

    I wonder what percent of the netcraft's MS number is MS machines.
    • Re:Google (Score:5, Informative)

      by micheas (231635) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:54AM (#21905816) Homepage Journal
      If you read netcrafts definition of a website you will find some sort of strange things. almost all the google sites are blogger sites, over half the IIS sites are myspace profiles and live.com blogs.

      The recent decline in IIS and gain by apache is almost entirely myspace to facebook migration.

      The other big factors are godaddy parking is IIS, most other parking domains are apache, and then there is the relatively small number of sites which are all the sites that generate all the content that you would actually want to connect to the internet for.

      Netcraft is has a bit of a problem with figuring out what is a website. Is a myspace profile a website? No, but what if someone is running a music site off of their myspace profile and have it branded and put real effort into and is its own destination?

      Do geocities accounts count as websites? most of them did get counted and when geocities popularity waned so did BSDs market share.

      What if you wild card a domain name and have a script generate unique content for almost every possible hostname, and submitted tens of thousands of the hostnames of that server to netcraft? How many websites would that be? Some creative spamming by Microsoft or their enemies would make netcraft statistics pretty meaningless. Also Netcraft only reports on the front facing server which grossly understates zope and tomcats presence.

      There are lies, damn lies, statistics, and netcraft website counts.
      • by asuffield (111848)

        There are lies, damn lies, statistics, and netcraft website counts.

        And that's before we consider factors like "what do these numbers mean anyway?".

        Consider this: for a given large number of websites, running on a hosting provider, then the total number of Windows servers required to host those sites is considerably larger than the total number of Linux-based servers required to host those same sites (all running on identical hardware), because Linux is simply more hardware-efficient. So we would naturally e

      • by ChronosWS (706209)

        This is Slashdot. The bar for Windows success is vastly higher than the bar for Linux success, whether it deserves to be or not. Don't like the statistics? Change the definition of the statistics so that they are painted in the light you prefer. After all, that's what Microsoft would do, right?

        You seem to dislike their definition of a website. But what the survey is really telling you is which web server is being used to serve unique content on the web. Whether one server serves a million pages or a

        • by jimicus (737525)
          But what the survey is really telling you is which web server is being used to serve unique content on the web. Whether one server serves a million pages or a million servers serve one page apiece is irrelevant.

          Technically correct, but I think it could benefit from further clarification.

          Netcraft's numbers tell you which piece of software is being used to provide web service on a unique hostname.

          But with modules like Dynamic Mass Virtual Hosting [apache.org] (and whatever the equivalent is on IIS), it is trivially easy f
        • by micheas (231635)

          For reference, here is the Netcraft methodology. [netcraft.com]

          That methodology is from July 2000. If you have been following the survey for the last several years you would know that a large percentage of the sites currently counted are on blogger.com, livejournal.com myspace.com and facebook.com. They have been collecting comments and tweaking there survey for over seven years since that methodology was posted.

          What I would find much more interesting is a sharepoint, drupal, joomla, plone, handcoded html, frontpage, ora

    • Does that really mean that 7.39% of all web servers on the web are run by Google?

      No, just 7.39% of the servers that anyone cares about.
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday January 04, 2008 @12:40AM (#21905670) Homepage

    There are at least eight different "versions" of Windows Server 2008: [pcworld.com], depending on what features are crippled:

    1. Windows Server 2008 Standard, $999 (with five Client Access Licenses, or CALs);
    2. Standard without Hyper-V, $971 (with five CALs);
    3. Enterprise, $3,999 (with 25 CALs);
    4. Enterprise without Hyper-V, $3,971 (with 25 CALs);
    5. Datacenter, $2,999 (per processor);
    6. Datacenter without Hyper-V, $2,971 (per processor);
    7. Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems, $2,999 (per processor); and
    8. Windows Web Server 2008, $469.

    This change only affects the crippling level on #8.

    • There are at least eight different "versions" of Windows Server 2008:, depending on what features are crippled:
      This from the company who used to posture as a refuge from the confusion of all the different Linux distros.
    • Seems strange they'd actually bother to sell separate "Hyper-V" and "non Hyper-V" products, given how little they intend to charge for it and that they intend to sell it separately anyway.

      Microsoft, however, also plans to sell Hyper-V directly to corporate users who could wipe a server clean and install Hyper-V Server, which is priced at $28 and allows an unlimited number of virtual machines on a single box.

      http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/111207-microsoft-virtualization-server.html [networkworld.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Allador (537449)
        Everything I've seen ... they felt they were forced to do that for anti-competitive purposes.

        They wanted to make it free, but feared to run afoul of the monopoly issues, by undercutting/bundling the product that competes with vmware, etc.

        This way, its nearly free, but not really free.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      Only 8? At least they have been consistent with server OS versions.

      Windows XP: 2 versions
      Windows 2003 Server: 8 versions
      Windows Vista: 6 versions
      Windows 2008 Server: 8 versions

      If the pattern holds up, it will be like this:
      Windows 7: 18 versions

      • Actually, there are 4 (consumer) editions of XP: Home, Pro, MCE, Tablet.
        That means there will be either 8 or 9 editions of Windows 7, depending on weather it is a geometric or arithmetic progression.

        If we attempt to count Windows 2000 (1 desktop, 3 server editions, according to Wikipedia), then we get 1, 4, 6 for desktop versions and a resulting polynomial formula of 0.5(x^2)+4.5x-3 (where x is 1 for 2000, 2 for XP and 3 for Vista) meaning Windows 7 will have (if we take x as 4) 23 editions.
        If we instead use x=version no. (5 for 2000, 5.1 for XP and 6 for Vista) then we get the formula -27.778(x^2)+310.56x-857.33 then Windows 7 would have -44.532 editions.

        For servers, 1, 2, 3 numbering gives a formula of -2.5(x^2)+12.5x-7 with Sever 7 having 3 editions. With version numbering (and assuming that Server 2008 releases with a 6.0 version number), we get -25(x^2)+280x-772 and Server 7 having -37 editions (assuming it has 7.0 version number).

        However, it is best to disregard formulas with negative x^2 coefficients, since they will all eventually result in negative values, therefore 23 versions of Windows 7 seems the most reasonable answer here, unless we take negative edition counts as complete Microsoft failure (CMF).
  • Why Netcraft? (Score:3, Informative)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Friday January 04, 2008 @02:34AM (#21906440)

    The previous limit was 50 users. Microsoft's partners expect the changes to go a long way toward making Windows Web Server 2008 more competitive with the LAMP stack, against which Microsoft has been making headway in recent months. Emphasis mine.

    Why do they continue to quote Netcraft when http://www.securityspace.com/s_survey/data/200712/index.html [securityspace.com] has always put Apache ahead of windows? Is it that Netcraft is more of an authority than Security Space.

    Back to the topic...I think Microsoft wants to claim bragging rights having come from very far behind when compared to Apache.

    • by weicco (645927)

      Not a really reliable source if they put Apache ahead of windows. Apache ahead of IIS wouldn't be so much apples and oranges ;)

  • Screw Microsoft. If I were to start up my very own server farm, I'd use LAMP.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Friday January 04, 2008 @03:19AM (#21906680)
    One aspect to modern computing that was largely unforeseen by Microsoft is the server farm. Well, Microsoft was completely blindsided by the Internet in general, but a command-line OS was something that Microsoft had, threw away, and then denied ever existed.

    Suppose Gates had had a little more vision, realized that the CLI still had a place in the world, and thrown a billion or two into DOS development? Suppose Microsoft had turned DOS into a real contender for the server room, maybe tacking a CLI and some utilities on top of the NT Kernel? They could have called it MS-DOS/NT. Sure, it wouldn't be DOS as we all knew and loved it (hah) but then they wouldn't have been caught flat-footed when people started assembling hundreds and thousands of computers into racks and connecting them to the Internet.
    • The problem is that DOS was never designed for multitasking, not to mention the rather crap memory management. That's why you needed interrupt driven software (some of which is still with us) and anything that was "multi" tasking needed TSR (Terminate & Stay Resident) code to work, making networking a *bastard* to get stable.

      The closest DOS came to multitasking was with Desqview and DoubleDOS, both suffering from the "640k is enough for anyone" limits.

      Your PC is doing a lot of stuff at the "same" time,
  • Well, its a catch-22 situation.
    If i use MS Server to face the internet, then i risk getting hacked almost on a daily basis from some script kiddie...
    if i don't use it, i need to pay Microsoft huge licensing fees and since i can't afford to pay the extortion, i risk being reported to BSA...

    On a totally-different topic, anyone using Microsoft server for their internet-facing tasks without adequate (PhD equipped) hardening, DOES deserve the hacking they get....
  • by mrpacmanjel (38218) on Friday January 04, 2008 @06:10AM (#21907432)
    After reading the article and viewing the graphs(just look how many web servers are out there) it really 'hit home' how bad it would be if Microsoft dominated the 'server space'.

    At present there are many different web servers in use today and it was something I took for granted. I am a heavy Internet user and when I am visiting web sites I never give a second thought about what server it is running on - everything *usually* works within my browser.

    Do you know why?

    These web servers follow *open standards* using standard protocols and published specifications.

    Now imagine if Microsoft dominated the web server market. They will have a commanding share of the OS, web browser and server market. Once this is in place then you just know these 'standards' will drift away and eventually rely on *Microsoft* standards.

    The seamless nature of browsing the internet will eventually disappear.

    Eventually Microsoft's servers would be modified to serve content to 'Explorer' only - if you use a different browser you would get a 'blank' screen or message stating 'this site is best viewed in Internet Explorer'.

    Internet Explorer would exhibit the same behavior, if it detected a non-Microsoft server again a message would appear instead of the web-site informing the user that the site is unavailable or incompatible.

    If you're not running Microsoft Explorer your pages won't render properly - users complain & companies get nervous.
    If you're not running a Microsoft server stack your pages won't be served properly - users complain & companies get nervous.

    Microsoft become the de-facto standard because it will be *perceived* as the most conservative and least risky option.

    If you run your own business you can look forward to ever-increasing overheads.

    The barrier to entry will again be high, Microsoft and their many partners are set to earn *huge* revenues and of course any competition will be extinguished.

    Microsoft has an abundance of patience and it will probably take years for this to happen.

    The Internet as you know it will become bland, colourless, safe, corporation and media friendly.

    Embrace, Extend & Extinguish.

    It's a sad way of doing business, if they were actually respectful and *co-operate* with IT industry they can still be a successful company without having to destroy everthing.

If a listener nods his head when you're explaining your program, wake him up.

Working...