Microsoft Adds More 64-Bit SKUs to Its Line Up

Microsoft Adds More 64-Bit SKUs to Its Line Up

Mary Jo Foley

Microsoft made it official on Wednesday that it is adding three more Windows Server editions to its product family.

New members of the family include a Standard Edition of Windows Server 2003 for Intel Itanium Systems; a Standard Edition of Windows Server 2003 for 64-Bit Extended Systems (a k a for AMD 64-bit servers); and an Enterprise Edition of Windows Server 2003 for 64-Bit Extended Systems (for AMD 64).

All three of the newly announced SKUs are due to ship simultaneously with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, which Microsoft, as of last week, delayed until the latter half of 2004. The Windows XP release that will support the AMD 64-bit Athlon also is not due to ship until the latter half of 2004, company officials confirmed.

The three new SKUs have all been in beta test since earlier this year. As of Wednesday, Microsoft broadened the beta to include MSDN subscribers. Microsoft also is allowing interested parties to obtain evaluation copies of the beta releases by downloading them off the Microsoft.com site. (Currently, Microsoft has posted only the 32-bit and 64-bit Itanium SKUs for download; the AMD ones are “coming soon,” executives said.”

Why did Microsoft opt to add the new Standard Edition SKUs to its 64-bit line-up?

“We are seeing increased customer interest in running 64-bit operating systems on smaller servers of four processors or less,” says John Borozan, product manager with Windows Server. “A greater number of customers are seeing they can get more out of their 64-bit computing investments without having to go eight-way.”

Borozan adds that Microsoft’s OEM and chip partners are putting more attention on developing a richer set of smaller servers, for which the new Standard SKUs are optimized.

Borozan says Microsoft is planning to price its forthcoming Windows Server Itanium and Opteron SKUs the same as it has the existing 32-bit versions of its Standard and Enterprise server products.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Microsoft Watch.