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  • Microsoft Increasing User Licensing Fees Arguably Due to BYOD Trend Started by iPad


    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.
    Companies that currently have existing volume licensing agreements won’t be affected by the new policy until their current contract expires. Potential customers who are looking into licensing Microsoft software must lock in current prices before December 1st. In a separate move to protect its stranglehold on enterprise, Microsoft increased the price of tablet virtualization licenses in April, a move that was seen as a direct response to the iPad’s popularity in business. In this specific arrangement, Windows RT devices such as the Surface come with free licensing rights to promote Microsoft products.

    Source: ZDNet via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Microsoft Increasing User Licensing Fees Arguably Due to BYOD Trend Started by iPad started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. alanjf's Avatar
      alanjf -
      How many people actually pay for CALs? I'm not advocating the practice in any way, shape, or form, but in the past 4 or 5 years on short-term and one-off IT jobs that I've done in places that have usually anywhere from 25-1,000+ users on Windows/Active-Directory based networks that I didn't setup (they were already in place), a lot of them don't actually pay for CALs, but instead are using some means to have an unlimited amount of users. So I have to wonder how many business who run Windows AD networks actually pay for these CALs, especially when the prices for them keep going up.

      This seems to be happening more and more, probably because it's so easy to get away with (I've yet to see an office dweller ask "Oh, hey, btw, boss, is my CAL legit?") I've also heard from colleagues I know who work in larger corporations that this sometimes happens at that level too.) It seems the more money they try to extract, the more they end up loosing because of this sort of thing. If software licensing was reasonably priced, I would reckon there would be far fewer cases of this.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Honestly, we just don't bother with people's own computers, if they need to use Office for work at home, they can remotely log into the computers here, install Open Office or provide their own copy of Microsoft Office.

      It's such a rare thing for it to be needed though that it makes so sense to spend tons of money on the CALs and such.