Subject: Re: Development vs. aquisition costs
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 01:57:48 -0800
Tue, 28 Dec 2004 01:57:48 -0800
on Tue, Dec 28, 2004 at 05:11:15PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull ( wrote:
> >>>>> "kms" == Karsten M Self <> writes:
>     kms> I did a quick calculation for my own configuration, using MS
>     kms> Windows XP Professional as the base OS.  Rules were that
>     kms> software on the Microsoft platform had to be proprietary and
>     kms> fully-paid-up versions, where available.  Net cost: $4,522.
> Why is this calculation interesting?  In particular:

Sorry?  Is that "why do you [Karsten] think that's interesting?" or
"here's why I [Stephen] find that interesting?

Speaking for myself:  I found it interesting putting numbers on this.

>     kms> You can definitely acquire a lot of functionality at lower
>     kms> costs, with OS-only running about $348. [...] It was also
>     kms> interesting to note that there are a growing number of niches
>     kms> in which it's becoming difficult to find paid-up, proprietary
>     kms> software.  X Server, GNU/Linux / POSIX / Unix utilities, and
>     kms> messaging applications among them.
> In other words, if free software supported by the user's own effort is
> acceptable, $348 buys Windows XP Professional, and everything else can
> come from Cygwin, mingw, or MSYS.  What am I missing?

What I was trying to point out is that the prices I'm showing are more
list than street, and that by bargain-hunting or substitution, the costs
could be driven down a lot.  Mostly meant to fend of "but that's
unreasonably high cost" arguments against my calculations.

>     kms> I'm also utterly baffled by requirements for CALs.
> What's to be baffled about?  

Have you looked at the requirements?

CALs are needed for remote client access....

...except for WinXP clients (most of the time), and sometimes Win2K
clients.  But other clients always need CALs.  And if you use a CAL
once, it's locked up (not transferable to another client machine) for
some random intervale of at least n months....   Except that some
services don't need CALs at all...  And in most cases, CALs are specific
to MSFT clients.

What I'm confused about are the specifics of when CALs are needed, for
what services, and when they're not.  It's decidedly confusing.

> It's a just a different spelling for "Microsoft tax".  

Trust:  *that* part I understand.

> Obviously, servers like IIS will typically admit unauthenticated
> users, and they don't require CALs.  

That's actually a bit of a change from earlier policies.  IIRC, NT
distinguished between workstation and server in that workstation was
limited to some low number (five or ten) of remote connections to *any*
service, Web included, while server allowed more concurrencies.  This
was before a full realization of what the Web was struck Redmond.

> which seems to reference Microsoft documentation on CALs.
> Since CALs are available for Linux and Mac, I would assume that if you

They are?  That's news to me.  But as I said, I don't really understand

> The article above seems to suggest that this only applies to servers
> bundled with Windows Server (cf the recommendation to check out
> Xserve), but clearly from the number of 3rd party hits I got on "CAL
> 5-pack" Microsoft is now licensing this wonderful business model to
> ISVs!

CALs can be bought in 5 & 25-pack kits.  As well as bulk.  AFAIU, which
isn't much.


Karsten M. Self <>
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
  TWikIWeThey: An experiment in collective intelligence.  Stupidity.  Whatever.
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