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Its not about just selling Exchange upgrades -- its about selling Operating System upgrades. If you've been paying attention at all, you know that the real fear at Microsoft is that they're not selling as many licenses for newer and bigger Windows servers as they want, and are terrified that Linux is going to eat their lunch. Case in point -- if you want a HUGE discount on your Windows 2003 server licenses, tell your Microsoft rep that you're running a Linux server pilot for strategic server services like print sharing, file sharing, and DNS, and LDAP directory management. I'll bet your price for those licenses drops by 50%. Let me know how it goes.
Here's what comes to mind when I hear about MS requiring 64 bit operating systems for Exchange 12.
#1 - There is no major revision of Active Directory to require this time as there has in the past. Thus, no tie in that forces the purchase of new operating systems and thus generates a massive revenue stream through upgrades. 64 bit upgrades fixes that.
#2 - 64 Bit processing means new servers. Yes, that means new operating systems and sales of operating systems, but it also means bigger, faster processors with more memory and faster disk access. That means nobody will compare performance without seeing a huge gain with Exchange 12. Sure, it will be running in 10 times the machine -- but users don't see that, do they?
Do the math folks. Exchange 12 will do what every previous version of Exchange has been targeted to do. It will have enough new features and bug fixes along with performance gains that users will want to move to it, and in order to move to it new operating systems will have to be sold by the truckload.
Microsoft is and has always been about LEVERAGE. To run the newest THING you need the new OTHERTHING, which means the new OTHERSTUFF.....etc...etc...etc...
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