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Microsoft Expected To Hike User CAL Prices in August

Microsoft reportedly is planning to increase the cost of its user Client Access Licenses (CALs) for premises-based server deployments by 13 percent, starting on August 1.

The coming price change was noted in a story today by veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley. The price hike was described in this Microsoft blog post for partners, but the content about the new pricing change was subsequently deleted. Here's what that blog post had originally stated:

Lock in lower CAL pricing now and pay the lower pricing that is still available. Don't delay. Microsoft will increase on-premises User CAL pricing by approximately 13% effective on August 1, 2015. Customers will continue to have the option to license CAL Suites with the choice of per user or per device. Learn more.

The "Learn more" link requires having access to Microsoft's partner network to get the details. While those details aren't generally available, Foley's partner contacts provided a list of the specific CALs that will have the 13 percent price increase. The list includes CALs for Windows Server, Exchange Server, Lync Server and System Center Configuration Manager, along with Enterprise and Core CAL Suites, among others.

In recent years, Microsoft has seemed to favor hiking the costs of its CALs over its server licensing. CALs bestow the rights to access Microsoft's servers, but organizations also have to pay for server licensing, too.

Microsoft's "user CALs" permit a single user to access a server via multiple client devices. The company also offers "device CALs," in which the licensing is tied to a specific device. Device CALs might be used in cases where multiple users access a server at different times using the same device.

It's not clear why Microsoft pulled the user CAL price hike information, but, per Foley's sources, the price change has already been explained to Microsoft's partners.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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