Print 38 comment(s) - last by alcalde.. on Nov 30 at 11:49 PM

BYOD fees for "user CAL" licenses of Sharepoint, Lync, etc. will jump 15 percent

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has announced a change that's good news for its investors and bottom line, but likely bad news for business clients.

The change affects Microsoft's so-called client-access license (CAL).  If you own a business, you purchase a CAL from Microsoft, which allows your on-site employees to use software such as:
  • Bing Maps Server
  • Core Suite
  • Enterprise Suite
  • Exchange Server Standard or Enterprise
  • Lync Server Standard or Enterprise
  • Project Server
  • SharePoint Server Standard or Enterprise
  • System Center 2012 Client Management Suite
  • System Center Configuration Manager
  • System Center Endpoint Protection
  • Visual Studio TFS
  • Windows Multipoint Server
  • Windows Server
  • Windows Server RDS, RMS, Terminal Services
There are two flavors of CALs -- User CALs, which allow a unique user to connect any device they own, and the Device CALs, which associate a per device license fee.  Previously Microsoft had set these two licensing options to the same price.  
User CALDevice CAL
User CALs (left) are the preferred solution for BYOD users, versus Device CALs (right).

That was great news for enterprise users, as one of the hottest trends right now in IT is the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) craze.  BYOD means that one user may not only connect from both a work machine (say a work laptop), but also personal machines they own (say their personal tablet and laptop).  If a business was to buy a Device CAL license, it'd have to buy three licenses for those devices, but with the User CAL, the employee had the flexibility to use any of those devices, while the employer was on the hook for only a single license fee.

But the deal is about to get a little less sweet, as Microsoft has announced that it will be bumping the price of its various User CALs by 15 percent.  The price change will take affect Dec. 1. However, large customers that have Enterprise Agreements, Enterprise Subscription, Open Value Subscription, and Open Value Perpetual will be able to hang on to their current pricing until the end of their contract.

Ultimately this seems like a smart move for Microsoft.  After all, a 15 percent premium User CAL is still the cheaper option for enterprise customers, if the average user connects with 2 or more devices.  But the move could also backfire, forcing some smaller clients to free, open source alternatives.  However, making such a switch can be costly and the end result may be inferior software, in some cases.  
For those reasons it seems unlikely that Microsoft will see mass defections, even if it may be offering up an irritating change to its business clients.

Sources: SoftCat, Microsoft, ZDNet

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RE: Typical
By BigEdMan on 11/27/2012 1:46:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hey now, some us like/love/use Windows phones!

RE: Typical
By fredgiblet on 11/27/2012 4:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. I've been accused of being a shill on another forum because I steadfastly believe that anyone looking to get a smartphone should at least look at Windows Phone. It doesn't have all the features of other platforms but with WP8 it has a few features no one else has and it has an actual DIFFERENT interface, you may not like it, but it's worth a try.

RE: Typical
By TakinYourPoints on 11/27/2012 5:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
I've been plugging Windows Phone since it first came out. Like you said, it is a legit (and stable) alternative to other platforms out there.

Unfortunately it became hard to recommend for a little over a year simply because the hardware didn't keep up with what was available for iOS or Android. Not supporting WP7 upgrades to WP8 on older devices was also a kick in the teeth, especially since centralized updates from Microsoft, not carrier controlled like with Android, was a big plus that it was supposed to have.

All that is behind though, and hopefully WP8 lives up to the potential of the platform. If customers buy into it then apps will follow. Competitive hardware and long term support is up to MS/Nokia.

RE: Typical
By fredgiblet on 11/27/2012 6:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
And hopefully WP8 is the last time for a while that phones get left behind on updates.

RE: Typical
By Pirks on 11/27/2012 10:40:48 PM , Rating: 2
Apollo+ update is coming Q1'13 so yeah looks like slow updates of WP7 era are the thing of the past

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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