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Report: Microsoft Raising CAL Prices by 13 Percent

The cost of Microsoft's user Client Access Licenses (CALs) for premises-based server deployments will increase by 13 percent on Aug. 1, according to a report Friday by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

As Foley noted, Microsoft initially described the price hike in this blog post for partners, but subsequently deleted the content about the new pricing change. Here's what that Microsoft 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.