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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 121
    alexnalexn Posts: 119member
    Smacks slightly of [I]panic[/I].
  • Reply 2 of 121
    Obviously, the ITC will have to look into this, especially re: the pads.
  • Reply 3 of 121
    Methinks this will come back and bite them in their greedy little behinds.
  • Reply 4 of 121
    What a defensive posture. Maybe it is just me but shouldn't they be lowing fees instead of raising them?
  • Reply 5 of 121


    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. 

  • Reply 6 of 121
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 121
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 121
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 121
    Squeeze harder, Microsoft. Make them pay.
  • Reply 10 of 121
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    Expect to see the phrase "Microsoft death spiral" with ever-increasing frequency.
  • Reply 11 of 121
    rbryanh wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 121
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,173member
    Yes, but will this apply to rumored Windows 8 smartphones built by Microsoft?
  • Reply 13 of 121
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,597member
    sockrolid wrote: »
    Expect to see the phrase "Microsoft death spiral" with ever-increasing frequency.

    ... Self inflicted suicidal Microsoft death spiral
  • Reply 14 of 121
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    ... 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...
  • Reply 15 of 121


    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...

  • Reply 16 of 121


    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?

  • Reply 17 of 121
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 121
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member

    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.
  • Reply 19 of 121
    Microsoft has been a crappy business model corporation since its inception.
  • Reply 20 of 121


    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.

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