Microsoft reveals its planned Lync PBX-alternative pricing, licensing

Microsoft has published its planned pricing and licensing plans for its Lync Server 2010 and related client-access-license (CAL) clients.

Microsoft has published its planned pricing and licensing plans for its Lync Server 2010 and related client-access-license (CAL) clients.

Lync is the new name for Microsoft's Office Communications brand. There will be new Lync Server 2010 and Lync clients out before the end of this calendar year. Lync Online -- the refresh of Communications Server Online -- is looking like a first half 2011 deliverable. Microsoft delivered a public Release Candidate test build of Lync earlier this month. Microsoft is positioning Lync as its PBX alternative.

Microsoft officials said that the company is holding pricing steady, for the most part, with the coming release of its integrated instant messaging/audio/video conferencing product. The one exception, according to a spokesperson, is the price of the Enterprise CAL, which is decreasing by 23 percent. "All other (Lync/OCS) prices are unchanged" from OCS 2007 levels, the spokesperson said.

"There were numerous improvements across all the Lync offerings, but we focused some of the biggest investments on the Lync Server 2010 Enterprise CAL and the new Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL—separating Audio, Video, and Web Conferencing and adding new Enterprise Voice functionality to the Plus CAL," the spokesperson added.

If you are interested in Lync, the pricing and licensing combinations and permutations are too complicated for me to explain succinctly; check the Lync site for the details.

The bottom line, however, is Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition will cost $699, and Enterprise Edition, $3,999. The Standard CAL is $31, Enterprise CAL is $107 and Plus CAL is $107. A Communicator 2007 R2 standalone license is $31, according to the site. (A CAL is required for each user or device accessing a Lync Server.) Users can buy CALs individually or as part of the Microsoft Enterprise CAL suite. A CAL is not the same as the Lync client software (of which there are several versions, including a new one for Mac users).

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