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Microsoft to raise user licensing fees in response to 'BYOD' movement

post #1 of 122
Thread Starter 
Starting Dec. 1, Microsoft will raise the price of user client-access licenses (CALs) for enterprise customers that allow employees to access work software on their personal devices, meaning the "bring-your-own-device" trend will cost companies an extra 15 percent.

Microsoft CAL
Illustration of Microsoft's device and user client-access licensing structures. | Source: Microsoft


As noted by ZDNet, Microsoft is set to charge an additional 15 percent for "user" CALs, which will affect a number of enterprise customers that have begun allowing workers to access company software from any device of their choosing. 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, the former allowing any user server access from one specific device, while the latter gives one user the same access from any number of devices. Previously, both user and device licenses cost about the same.

"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 rise of BYOD, many firms are forced to purchase user CALs for every employee who needs access to Microsoft's suite.

It should be noted that the user license price hike also applies to Windows-based devices, however those machines have been on the market for decades, suggesting that the move is in response to the BYOD market arguably kick-started by the iPad and iPhone. Device CALs will retain their current pricing under the new plan.

In a statement regarding the upcoming change obtained by ZDNet, Microsoft pointed out that it was well aware of 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.


While companies that have existing volume license agreements won't be affected by the new policy until their current contract expires, potential customers looking into licensing Microsoft software must lock in current prices before Dec. 1.

In a separate move to protect its stranglehold on enterprise, Microsoft upped the price of tablet virtualization licenses in April, a move seen as a direct response to the iPad's popularity in business. In that arrangement, Windows RT devices like the recently-released Surface come with free licensing rights.
post #2 of 122
Smacks slightly of panic.
Edited by AlexN - 11/26/12 at 4:54pm
post #3 of 122
Obviously, the ITC will have to look into this, especially re: the pads.
post #4 of 122
Methinks this will come back and bite them in their greedy little behinds.
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post #5 of 122
What a defensive posture. Maybe it is just me but shouldn't they be lowing fees instead of raising them?
post #6 of 122

Ah how the worm has turned. 

 

MS' tired old Win/Office universal-licensing model is going the way of the dodo, and the solution of course, is to use some form of compulsion or duress on customers in order to fight market realties. 

 

MS has become *such* a shitty company. A decade in the making. They never really were impressive beyond implementing a universal licensing racket before anyone else. 

 

May Ballmer continue at the helm for years to come. 

post #7 of 122
The disturbing thing about Microsoft's suicidal tendencies is that once their rusting oil tanker finally drifts to a halt and sinks, Apple, having won, will inevitably _become_ Microsoft.
post #8 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

The disturbing thing about Microsoft's suicidal tendencies is that once their rusting oil tanker finally drifts to a halt and sinks, Apple, having won, will inevitably _become_ Microsoft.

Unless you possess a crystal ball you can't say that at all.  They might become Microsoft.  They might also not.

post #9 of 122
Has anyone here ever actually delt with MS Enterprise licensing? this makes nothing but sence to me: there are two ways to license MS products in the enterprise. By user or by device - Its all about the right license for the right user, an engineer with a laptop and a high end workstation would be best served with a user cal so that he/she can use the associated tools on wither without worry of compliance, and on the flip side, a call center seat where there are 3 or 4 shifts in a day, or a PC on a factory floor that many workers use to access HR platforms, clock in/out etc sharing a seat, a device based license makes sense.

User licenses are becoming more valuable because they are now allowing non company devices to use the resources - that is a benefit.

Folks, prices do rise over time, SQL Server, and Windows server prices also went up this year and the market didn't flinch because like it or not folks, Windows does what it does very well.
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post #10 of 122
Squeeze harder, Microsoft. Make them pay.

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post #11 of 122
Expect to see the phrase "Microsoft death spiral" with ever-increasing frequency.

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post #12 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

The disturbing thing about Microsoft's suicidal tendencies is that once their rusting oil tanker finally drifts to a halt and sinks, Apple, having won, will inevitably _become_ Microsoft.

BUT--There's no end to the people on these forums who swear up and down on a stack of bibles that Apple is going to lose, that Zune/Windows 8/Android have already beaten Apple. Blah blah walled garden blah blah keyboard cover blah blah stale UI blah blah $30 too expensive blah blah.

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post #13 of 122
Yes, but will this apply to rumored Windows 8 smartphones built by Microsoft?
post #14 of 122
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Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Expect to see the phrase "Microsoft death spiral" with ever-increasing frequency.

... Self inflicted suicidal Microsoft death spiral
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post #15 of 122
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Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

... Self inflicted suicidal Microsoft death spiral

remember the good ole days when people said Apple was doomed, Apple should liquidate and repay the share holders, and other things like that...well MS is still massively larger than Apple was at the time, and still very profitable.

MS is nowhere near death spiral...not everyone lives in the apple stores warm glo - some of us live in reality...
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post #16 of 122

There are other companies in the server-side business besides Microsoft that are very hungry. This move may create an opening that others may exploit. Additionally, for MS to allow the Surface special status may open the company to FTC inquiry. They may be asked to provide a good technical basis for this exception.

 

This does smell of MS is feeling the pinch to their bottom line...

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post #17 of 122
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post
MS is nowhere near death spiral...not everyone lives in the apple stores warm glo - some of us live in reality...


You HAVE seen Windows 8, haven't you?

post #18 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

There are other companies in the server-side business besides Microsoft that are very hungry. This move may create an opening that others may exploit. Additionally, for MS to allow the Surface special status may open the company to FTC inquiry. They may be asked to provide a good technical basis for this exception.

This does smell of MS is feeling the pinch to their bottom line...

I don't see a problem with it. They can easily justify the cost of Surface includes the cost of Win8 which could include a device license thus negating a need for a client license.

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post #19 of 122
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


You HAVE seen Windows 8, haven't you?

Using the plane analogy Win8 could be an engine going out but they are not only still flying but still safe even though it's far from an ideal situation and any more issues could make it so bad that they could be crashing to the ground with little to no chance of recovering.

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post #20 of 122
Microsoft has been a crappy business model corporation since its inception.
post #21 of 122
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
Microsoft has been a crappy business model corporation since its inception.

 

Mission Statement: To take the cool stuff that Apple Computer Inc. is doing and sell it as our own. To make software.

post #22 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Microsoft has been a crappy business model corporation since its inception.

If someone else could tackle the Enterprise as well as MS I'm sure plenty of companies would jump on board.

Not even "as we'll" but "half as well" and MS would lose a great deal of its marketshare. We use refurbished $100 WinXP machines at my company (sad, I know) but for the users this is plenty for what they need to access. It's mostly web-based apps which Mac OS can do very well but $500 for a Mac mini that can have too pant part swapped around if a component goes bad, or swapped easily is a huge issue.

Now Linux with a browser a few other apps would mostly work but there are still apps, configuration, and troubleshooting issues that make it prohibitive.

The most important of these is secure a connecting to a Win domain and Exchange server. Whether the corporate worldview it or not MS is entrenched.

Of course, nothing lasts forever, but it won't be the quick regime change the cellphone industry saw in 2007. MS's Enterprise products integrate too well ( think of the Apple ecosystem helping spur growth elsewhere) and companies are very slow to change course (only recently did we upgrade from Server 2003 to 2008 R2).

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post #23 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

The disturbing thing about Microsoft's suicidal tendencies is that once their rusting oil tanker finally drifts to a halt and sinks, Apple, having won, will inevitably _become_ Microsoft.

Having won... what?
post #24 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


You HAVE seen Windows 8, haven't you?

I have been using it since early September. And your point is..?
post #25 of 122
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post
And your point is..?

 

That, through your use thereof, you should understand what we mean by what was said.

post #26 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Expect to see the phrase "Microsoft death spiral" with ever-increasing frequency.

Sure. In line with "Apple is doomed".
post #27 of 122
Well Microsoft was always good at business, they know how to make money whichever way the market share of windows surface tablets shift. Makes good business sense.
post #28 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

That, through your use thereof, you should understand what we mean by what was said.

Not sure. That you are a bit clueless?

Honestly. It has as much meaning as saying something like "Have you seen the screen on iPad Mini?". Probably less.
post #29 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

Has anyone here ever actually delt with MS Enterprise licensing? this makes nothing but sence to me: there are two ways to license MS products in the enterprise. By user or by device - Its all about the right license for the right user, an engineer with a laptop and a high end workstation would be best served with a user cal so that he/she can use the associated tools on wither without worry of compliance, and on the flip side, a call center seat where there are 3 or 4 shifts in a day, or a PC on a factory floor that many workers use to access HR platforms, clock in/out etc sharing a seat, a device based license makes sense.
User licenses are becoming more valuable because they are now allowing non company devices to use the resources - that is a benefit.
Folks, prices do rise over time, SQL Server, and Windows server prices also went up this year and the market didn't flinch because like it or not folks, Windows does what it does very well.

In contrast, look at OS X Server. $20 with unlimited client licensing.

So much for the Apple Tax.
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post #30 of 122
The usual Microsoft tactic: Can't compete directly on the value of their product? Just use the ol' monopoly to penalize everyone who prefers to use better products from competitors.
post #31 of 122
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post
Not sure. That you are a bit clueless?

 

You don't see the implications of Microsoft's failure in providing a system designed for everywhere but being best nowhere?


Originally Posted by jragosta View Post
So much for the Apple Tax.

 

"But we have to spend multiple thousands more than others systems on substandard "server" hardware!" 

post #32 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

There are other companies in the server-side business besides Microsoft that are very hungry. This move may create an opening that others may exploit. Additionally, for MS to allow the Surface special status may open the company to FTC inquiry. They may be asked to provide a good technical basis for this exception.

This does smell of MS is feeling the pinch to their bottom line...

Not necessarily. Required licensing can be a part of Windows 8 Pro/RT, for example.

In addition, MS already has such "protective" mechanisms that were not challenged by FTC or whoever, at least not successfully. If you opt for company-wide licensing on OS/Office/..., you get discount pricing which, I believe, is around 15% (a bit rusty with MS licensing). By definition, "Company wide" means that every qualifying device must have specific license in order to achieve discount. That would mean all desktops and laptops, but not thin clients and smartphones (so far). But as the technology progress, so do the rules change. Tablet can be included in "qualifying device" poll, thus Windows tablet - lower price, other tablets, higher price.

They have other means to achieve discounts. Regardless of volume, if you get, say, a desktop platform for each qualifying product (PC, laptop), you get discount. desktop platform consists of current Office license, current Windows license and core CAL suite.

If you don't want to do company-wide, or don't want whole desktop platform on every computer, price goes up. You are still entitled to get whatever you want, but under different pricing. I'd expect that Windows tablet vs. other tablets can be safely tucked inside existing MS licensing rules, with or without slight adjustments. Is it nice of them? Probably not. But like Apple is defending their patents (and would it not be nice to share them with whole world? /s), MS is defending their core business - corporate market.
post #33 of 122

why isn't everybody ditching microsoft in favor of linux???

and why is Baldmer still at the helm? doesn't they have a board of directors?

they should kick him out the back door!

post #34 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


In contrast, look at OS X Server. $20 with unlimited client licensing.
So much for the Apple Tax.

Goodluck runnig your ERP systems with intergrated security model on your $20 license. Active Directory for one is so pervasive across the corporate landscape its very difficult to achieve the same with other tools.

 

The unified back office make repetitive tasks easier. Picture you Mac server back end... now ad 30 SQL databases 3 exchages servers, multiple SAP instances and 10000+ user base , a mixed bag of OSes and LANs all over the world administered from a central location. Try administer that on your $20 a server infrastructure and see how far you get.

 

Obviously nothing is impossible and if a corporate was to ditch Windows as a back office system. Apple will be the last place they will look.... there is a reason Linux controls +90% of the supercomputer market the rest shared amongst other unix flavours( not OSX ) and WinTel.

post #35 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

The disturbing thing about Microsoft's suicidal tendencies is that once their rusting oil tanker finally drifts to a halt and sinks, Apple, having won, will inevitably _become_ Microsoft.

Ignoring your point about who Microsoft is actually competing against, because I don't think you have the slightest clue if you think it's that simple...

Apple will not become Microsoft. Google will, and to a great extent has, become Microsoft.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, these sorts of business practices are likely to accelerate their decline. Interesting piece on this topic linked to from Daring Fireball yesterday:

http://semiaccurate.com/2012/11/14/microsoft-has-failed/
post #36 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You don't see the implications of Microsoft's failure in providing a system designed for everywhere but being best nowhere?

Honestly? I'm yet to see a person that I know to be using Windows 8 and hating it. Beside having it on half our computers, Win 8 machines have started leaking into our corporate users. Since all of them are using business apps which run on desktop, all of Metro they see is Start screen, which some like, and some are indifferent. No haters yet. After that, business is as usual. If you ignore meddling with Windows (which corporate users don't do anyway), using your applications on Windows 8 really does not differ from using them on Windows 7.

Beside that, 8 boots much faster than 7, seems to be very stable, gives nice perks like multi-boot from VHDs, handles updates better and have number of tweaks compared to Windows 7. Beside agreeing or disagreeing with visual dissonance between Metro and desktop, and lack of Aero on desktop, there is nothing for users to hate. And those are visual, not functional "issues".
post #37 of 122

They need to raise revenue.

 

This is clearly reflected at our university: every student must pay a $140 technology fee each year for Microsoft software (other software is not available for "free").

 

Up until this past year, MS generously allowed you to download anything it made. 

 

Unfortunately, this year they cut it back to Windows 7 Pro, Win 8 upgrade, MS Office 2010 and MS Office 2011 for Mac. Seems like they need to raise revenue. Make students pay for more.

 

BTW, I installed Win 8. I'm pretty computer savvy and I found Win 8 completely unintuitive. Really, really hard to find out how to get around. This is using it on a MacBook Pro. Maybe touchscreen is a little easier. God help them, people are going to reject Win 8 until they make it USABLE.

 

Personally, I like Win 8 okay (and Win 7 more), but will be a happier when they figure out how to give users clues to navigation.

 

P

post #38 of 122
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post
Beside agreeing or disagreeing with visual dissonance between Metro and desktop, and lack of Aero on desktop, there is nothing for users to hate.

 

And yet I sit here, forced to shut down my computer instead of restarting it, to get WMMD 1.1 to remain committed within my Windows install. You'd think Microsoft software would work with Microsoft software, at least. lol.gif

 

Also, I believe you're relegating to nonchalance the most important argument. This is how Microsoft expects people to use their computers going forward. I don't see a lot of upgrading happening because of that. 

post #39 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Ignoring your point about who Microsoft is actually competing against, because I don't think you have the slightest clue if you think it's that simple...
Apple will not become Microsoft. Google will, and to a great extent has, become Microsoft.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, these sorts of business practices are likely to accelerate their decline. Interesting piece on this topic linked to from Daring Fireball yesterday:
http://semiaccurate.com/2012/11/14/microsoft-has-failed/

I stopped at "Microsoft is largely irrelevant to computing of late".

You shouldn't be wasting our time with nonsense.

If you like nonsense, though, just google "Apple has failed". Same crap, different name.
post #40 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


remember the good ole days when people said Apple was doomed, Apple should liquidate and repay the share holders, and other things like that...well MS is still massively larger than Apple was at the time, and still very profitable.
MS is nowhere near death spiral...not everyone lives in the apple stores warm glo - some of us live in reality...

 

Sooo... when you leave the Apple Store's warm glow, it's suddenly 1996 and Apple is doomed again? LOL. Your "reality" = "the good ole days."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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