Microsoft Adjusts Pricing for Client Access Licenses

Microsoft is changing the way it bundles and prices some of its enterprise product licenses. Note these prices are not for Tech Soup and other non-profit pricing but are the costs associated with For-Profit organizations.

Microsoft currently has two types of CALs (client access license)– a Core CAL and an Enterprise CAL (ECAL) Step Up edition. In the current version, the Core CAL provides licenses for basic server products such as Windows Server, Systems Center Configuration Manager, SharePoint Standard edition, and Exchange Standard edition.

The ECAL Step Up option currently adds CALs for Active Directory Rights Management Service (RMS), Forefront Unified Access Gateway, and Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) Suite. It also includes CALs for Systems Center Client Management Suite, besides SharePoint and Exchange ECALs.

The new configuration moves the Lync Standard CAL into the Core CAL package from the ECAL Step Up among other changes. The changes in configuration and costs won’t take effect until August. This can be confusing so I’ll try to clarify the licensing setup and costs.

Released in November, Lync is Microsoft’s latest shot at a unified communications package, unifying enterprise voice, instant messaging and Web, audio and video conferencing — all within the same user experience and back-end infrastructure. Lync replaces Microsoft’s Office Communications Server.

The new configuration moves the Lync Standard CAL into the Core CAL package from the ECAL Step Up. At the same time, the Core CAL package also adds the latest version of Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP). Previously, the addition of these two products where available as a step up option to ECAL.

Currently, the price for the Core CAL is $80 per user, and the ECAL Step Up adds another $94 to the user license. According to preliminary price information and as of August 1, the Core CAL will gain $9 in price and jump to $89 per user, while the ECAL Step Up drops $8 to $86. These prices may not be final prices.

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