As expected, the licensing and pricing for Windows Server 2003 is identical to that of Windows 2000, Microsoft revealed Monday. According to the company, four editions of the new server product will ship April 24, including Windows Server 2003 Web Edition, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, and Datacenter Edition. Each of these editions will be priced identically to equivalent Windows 2000 editions; Web Edition will cost just $400.

Microsoft has long held that pricing for the new product would be in line with that of its existing products. "Given the environment of late, and the fact that some people perceive us as being bad people, we're not going to add fuel to the fire," Brian Valentine, the Senior Vice President of the Windows Division at Microsoft told reporters last summer. "So you can assume the pricing of Windows Server 2003 will be about the same as Windows 2000."

Pricing for Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition starts at about $1000 with 5 Client Access Licenses (CALs), while the Enterprise Edition, with 25 CALs, starts at about $4000. The low-cost Web Server Edition ($400) doesn't require CALs but won't be available through many retail channels and will generally be acquired bundled with server and blade hardware. Datacenter Edition has no list price as it is only available with select hardware from close Microsoft partners. Cost of CAL packs and Connector licenses, which are used to license external users hitting Windows Server services from outside the network, are unchanged, Microsoft says.

For more information about Windows Server 2003 pricing, please visit the Microsoft Web site.