Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

Summary: Microsoft announced this week that it is making a change to its Core CAL (Client Access License) bundle -- something of interest to its business customers who purchase enterprise products.

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Microsoft announced this week that it is making a change to its Core CAL (Client Access License) bundle -- something of interest to its business customers who purchase enterprise products.

Microsoft will be adding licenses for Microsoft's Lync unified communications product and its Forefront Endpoint Security product to the Microsoft Core CAL. The changes will take effect on August 1, 2011.

Supposedly, this is the first time in 10 years that Microsoft has made a modification to the Core CAL.

A CAL is a Microsoft licensing vehicle. Microsoft has user CALs and device CALs; different Microsoft server products require different CALs. CALs are big business for Microsoft, as they are required for each user (or device) accessing a particular server.

Currently, the Core CAL, priced at $80 per user, provides client-access rights for Windows Server CAL, System Center Configuration Manager, SharePoint (Standard) CAL and Exchange (Standard) CAL. After the change, the Core CAL, priced at $89 per user, will include the Windows Server CAL, System Center Configuration Manager, Forefront Endpoint Protection, SharePoint (Standard) CAL, Exchange (Standard) CAL and Lync (Standard) CAL.

On August 1, Microsoft will drop the price of its Enterprise CAL (Step Up), as it will be removing the Lync Standard CAL from the bundle. The price is set to drop from $94 per user to $86 per user. Many customers require both a Core CAL and an Enterprise CAL for their users. The combo pack (the ECAL Suite Stack) will remain priced at $175 per user.

The addition of Lync and Forefront Endpoint to the Core CAL is meant to encourage more customers to use these new products. It's also a way to potentially attract more users to sign up for Microsoft Enterprise Agreement volume licensing program. Lync, the successor to Microsoft's Office Communications Server product, is an all-in-one business instant-messaging, audio/video conferencing and VOIP server. Forefront Endpoint Protection is the successor to Forefront Client Security, and is Microsoft's enterprise security client.

Microsoft announced the coming Core CAL changes at its Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) conference this week. Another MMS announcement of possible interest to Microsoft volume licensees is the availability of the Release Candidate test build of the System Center codename "Atlanta."

Atlanta is a configuration monitoring cloud service that aims to help customers to reduce downtime and improve the performance of Microsoft SQL server deployments. The service monitors the configuration of SQL deployments to help database administrators proactively avoid configuration problems and to resolve identified issues.

Atlanta, which is now known officially as System Center Advisor, will be available in the second half of calendar 2011, Microsoft officials said. (That's later than the Softies originally planned; last fall, Microsoft officials said to expect Atlanta to ship in the first half of this year.)

Microsoft has decided to make Atlanta/System Center Advisor available to Software Assurance licensees only.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Operating Systems, Servers, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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26 comments
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  • Microsoft is irrelevant

    I had to set up a PHP application on Windows Server today. MySQL DB with PHP and FastCGI on IIS. Why are we even using Windows? Okay we're running a lot of .NET software, but I could just as easily port everything to Mono and we'd never need Windows again. Microsoft cares too much about what we don't care about. Microsoft is still selling to "Big Blue".
    General C#
    • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

      @General C# - Go on then. Port everything to Mono, write in-house alternatives for all the commercial apps and servers your business needs in order to run. Rewrite all your internet and intranet sites in the stagnant bucket of tripe that is PHP.

      Now measure the cost of doing so and how your business will afford all the heads necessary to effect your grand plan to use nothing but free software. Sometimes, free is too expensive.
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

        @bitcrazed

        Agreed, there's a lot of hidden costs with "FREE" software. Open Sourcers don't like to talk about that.
        Rob.sharp
      • Walk the walk...

        @bitcrazed
        Better yet, switch to Linux. Be a real man and run Apache. And with all the scripts you'll be writing, you won't have time to spam messageboards with irrelevant posts.

        Don't forget to change your name to General C++
        crazydanr
      • 1 for "Port everything to Mono"

        @bitcrazed, you go with your rational business argument for Microsoft products, you sultry minx, you. That kind of well reasoned thought is so foreign to Talkbacks. You must be new here to not know that only anti-M$ religious dogma carries any weight here.

        People like General C# (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_Sharp_(programming_language) "It was developed by Microsoft..." wait, wha?) act like it's trivial to port an app to an open source alternative. I guess vi is just that much easier than Visual Studio.
        hawks5999
      • The fantasy world of the anti-Microsoft zealots

        @ bitcrazed

        I really don't know what to make of these anti-Microsoft zealots. They increasingly resemble Hitler in his bunker, ordering about imaginary armies even as the Red Army surrounded Berlin.

        Windows overtook Unix in server revenue for the first time five years ago, and it never looked back. Unix is now on its death bed and Linux is only slowing the steady migration to Windows Server. Windows Server already runs on more than 70 per cent of new servers, and this number increases every year.

        There's no 'miracle technology' on the horizon that's going to suddenly drive back the Microsoft tide and save Unix. Linux may be able to hold out in the web server segment and a few niche markets, but the war for the broader server market is all but over. Microsoft have won.
        WilErz
      • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

        @bitcrazed ... Interesting comment but unfounded IMO. There isn't enough information there to comment about anything in those plans. For some it's a wise move; for others, not so wise. You just can't paint the whole world with one brush stroke.
        Open source people are keen to talk about these things and happy to pass on all the nitty gritty you need to use "free" software as some call it. "Free" in these cases has different connotations depending on the context it's used in.
        tomaaaaaa1
    • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

      @General C# Keep creating a world around yourself in hopes of protecting your paycheck. One day they will hire someone at your organization who understands that the business isn't in business to support IT - they're in business to actually create/sell a product or solution to meet revenue needs.
      jessiethe3rd
  • So we raise your rates

    and give you stuff you didn't ask for, don't want, and have to incur lots of extra expense to use.<br><br>Want to "use" that Exchange - whoops, that's a whole lot of servers and less reliability than other options.
    Want Sharepoint? Same deal.

    It's pathetic - they have these products that the marketplace has ignored and doesn't care about and are shoving them down our throats.

    Really good extortion really.....
    itguy08
    • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

      @itguy08 - In case you didn't notice, they slightly raised the rates for the core CAL, adding access to some important new features that A LOT of customers DO want, while simultaneously reducing the price of the enterprise CAL. The net result is that the Core+Enterprise CAL remains the same price.

      FWIW, I've just helped a client migrate a division of their business to Lync from a hodge-podge of communication technologies, old analog PBX & voicemail, etc. and the savings they will see in the next year will more than pay for any license upgrades. Continual annual savings for each subsequent year will measurably improve their bottom line and their staff's improved productivity will measurably improve also.

      Sometimes one has to speculate a little to generate a return.
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

        @bitcrazed Whoa buddy, you can't come in here talking about how microsoft products saved your client money, are you INSANE?
        genewitch
      • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

        @bitcrazed buahhahaa... you want to get the zealots all fired up? They'd rather earn their paycheck being software developers while off the shelf products meet the same need with low integration costs.
        jessiethe3rd
    • Odd, I find your arguments lacking

      @itguy08
      and also pathetic on their own level, most especialy as you happened to always be the one that continues to have massive problems that no one else her has ever encountered.

      Looking at this from a logical and statistical standpoint would indicate that you are fabricating most everything you have posted to these boards.

      What is the logic in posting lies to those who know better?
      :|
      Tim Cook
  • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

    We're on our fourth MS rep in four years. The reason? We don't buy stuff from them anymore. Our main MS presence in the datacenter is a set of Exchange servers, everything else runs on LAMP servers. Our current MS rep almost broke out in tears when we told her for the nth time that we are not interested in Sharepoint, quit bothering us.
    terry flores
    • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

      @terry flores - As a matter of interest, what LAMP oriented product offers what Exchange + Sharepoint + Lync offer?
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

        @bitcrazed <br><br>A fair amount of what Lync does was already outsourced at our company, and a lot of other stuff is just not needed. The company is not widely dispersed, I don't have to IM my employees constantly just to see if they are working, most of them are just down the hall from me.

        But if I do feel the need, we have a group that implemented a full range of social networking tools inside our infranet, including chat, Wikis, blogs, forums, and collaboration groups. They are for the most part either open source or low-priced (<$1K) software apps, all running on Linux servers. Some of it we got from an HP group that specializes in low-cost Linux alternatives.

        We've been asked by a couple of user groups if we would package up our solution and make it available on the open market. I think a couple of our collaboration guys are looking at it.
        terry flores
      • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

        @terry flores<br>I'd love to see your IT budget... I smell the ol' 80% of time spent managing infrastructure and 20% implementing new solutions situation here.<br><br>More power to you if you spent gobs of man-hour instead of spending money on licensing. FYI - Lync is not just instant message... it does:<br><br>1. VOIP and soon SIP trunking<br>2. It does real-time collaboration and document sharing<br>3. It provides presence information and integrations with your AD and Exchange to provide realtime information to resource availability<br><br>What makes me laugh even more is that your "low" cost scenario almost certainly includes VMWare which by no means is low cost... Exchange obviously exists because you cannot pry your users off Outlook. I would venture to guess you tried to get OpenOffice in there at some point. <br><br>Fact of the matter is you are spending time and money creating a walled garden that insulates your job while off the shelf solutions with low integration costs, lower IT head salary could have saved you more and got you more...<br><br>Let's be honest here - with your tone about your "Microsoft" rep, you obviously believe you are "sticking it to the commercial software man." <br><br>I'm sure your CFO is loving writing those checks for your staff.

        I'm just seeing your solution hitting the market as an open solution with the associated cost to manage and maintain the solution. Just curious of how interested your CFO and CEO is interested in your side business venture which is giving software away to a community? I bet they just love spending money on your group to have you give it away in a community outreach program.
        jessiethe3rd
    • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

      @terry flores:
      I bet you could reduce your IT department manpower by 75% if you went with the recommendations made by your MS rep. Your company would save money overall, but then, you would be left with a much smaller "kingdom".

      Are you willing to trade your personal power and glory to help your company save money? Somehow, I doubt it...
      jaykayess
  • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

    You goofs.... Get real. I'm tired of hearing about folks with no money wanting to avoid what Microsoft sells. They make software they need. Then everyone else figures out they need too. That's how micorosoft work today. Their own R&D department really works for Microsoft internal needs. We all get the finished product. You people that don't get this are the same people that are not going to run a fortune 100 company. Get with it people.

    SUre you can go other "big blue" routes like Orcale, IBM's stuff, Zerox, EMC, etc.... but Microsoft does it better and cheaper than those folks. The LAMP model is free and full of crap. Have you folks heard of a "pink slip generating event?" keep going the LAMP route and you will. ;)

    I am not saying Microsoft is the best, I am not saying anything like that. But if you want to go home at night and not worry about some peice of crap breaking then drink their cool-aid.
    smcpartlin
    • RE: Microsoft to make its first Core client-access-license change in 10 years

      @smcpartlin@... LOL @ "better".
      I12BPhil