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Microsoft incentives target Oracle faithful

Reusing a dog-eared page from its playbook, Microsoft this week said it will offer Oracle database users discounts to move to SQL Server.

As of Wednesday, Oracle users can get SQL Server Enterprise Edition 2005 for half the list price of $25,000 per processor. Or get a 25 percent discount on the Standard Edition.

At retail, SQL Server 2005 Enterprise is $24,999 per CPU vs. $40,000 per CPU for Oracle Enterprise Edition But in a world of near-ubiquitous volume licensing and one-off deals, real-life pricing for both databases can be considerably lower.

For example, Microsoft’s site also lists “representative” pricing for those buying “small number of processor or server licenses” at $13,969 with 25 user licenses or $8,487 per server, $162 per CAL.

At the PASS show for SQL Server admins and users in Denver this week, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ted Kummert, reiterated plans to make SQL Server 2008 available in the first half of next year. A Microsoft spokesman could not say whether the Oracle discounts will remain in effect for the upcoming SQL Server 2008.

Tom Casey, director of SQL Server said to expect another CTP release, the fifth overall, very soon.

To bolster SQL Server in business intelligence and data warehouse applications, Microsoft also announced new “reference configurations” with hardware partner Dell

Basically Dell specs three bundles of hardware that it claims will be easy to install, implement and manage via Microsoft Operations Manager, Systems Management server or Dell’s own management options.

For database solution providers, the draw here would be they will have more time to customize and built value-add functionality atop the data warehousing infrastructure.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area journalist, can be reached at badarrow@comcast.net.

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