According to ZDNet, starting December 1st, Microsoft will be raising the price of user client-access licenses (CALs) for enterprise customers that allow employees to access work software on their personal devices. This means that the “bring-your-own-device” trend will end up costing companies an extra 15% than it currently does. The CALs are attached to various integral applications widely used in enterprise, like Exchange, Lync, Windows Server, System Center and others.
With the current setup, Microsoft offers “device” and “user” CALs, with the former allowing user server access from one specific device, while the latter gives one user the same access from any number of devices. Both user and device licenses cost about the same before. “Device CALs may make more economic and administrative sense if your company has workers who share devices, for example, on different work shifts,” Microsoft said. However, with the increase in the bring-your-own-device trend, many firms are forced to purchase user CALs for every employee who needs access to Microsoft’s suite.
One thing to point out is that the user license price hike also applies to Windows-based devices; however those machines have been on the market for decades, which suggests that the move is in response to the BYOD market, arguably kick-started by the iPad and the iPhone. Device CALs will retain their current pricing under a new plan. In a statement regarding the upcoming change obtained by ZDNet, Microsoft pointed out that it was well aware of the BYOD in enterprise:
These CAL changes include a user-based option that offers more value in support across unlimited devices and simplifies licensing management and compliance as devices in the workplace proliferate. Pricing for user CALs will change to reflect the increased value. Customers should work with their Microsoft partner or account team to assess their options.
Source: ZDNet via AppleInsider