Microsoft Client Access Licensing rules to change

Industry News Tue 16th, Oct 2012 by Dave Simpson
Effective 1st December 2012 Microsoft is making a change to the pricing of the “User” option when specifying Client Access Licences (CALs).


Currently customers have the option of specifying either a “Device CAL” (intended for an individual device and providing server client access for an unlimited number of users of that device) or a “User CAL” (intended for an individual user and providing server client access for an unlimited number of devices for that user). 

Traditionally the price has been the same regardless of which option customers chose.  Going forward Microsoft will differentiate between these CALs.  As part of this approach Microsoft will be raising the price of the user CAL by 15%.  The device CAL price will remain the same (no price increase).  Microsoft is making this change in response to the increasing value of user based licensing over the single device licensing model.  

The products affected are: 

  • Bing Maps Server CAL
  • Core CAL Suite
  • Enterprise CAL Suite
  • Exchange Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
  • Lync Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
  • Project Server CAL
  • SharePoint Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
  • System Center 2012 Client Management Suite
  • System Center Configuration Manager
  • System Center Endpoint Protection
  • Visual Studio TFS CAL
  • Windows Multipoint Server CAL
  • Windows Server CAL
  • Windows Server RDS, RMS, Terminal Services CAL 

Customers operating the the User CAL model with multi-year contract based Microsoft volume licence agreements (such as Enterprise Agreement, Enterprise Subscription, Open Value Subscription and Open Value Perpetual) will retain their pre-negotiated pricing until the end of their current contract term. 

Organisations presently considering the purchase of Microsoft volume licence products that include CAL options are recommended to contact Softcat’s sales department to discuss their options prior to the proposed price changes taking effect on 1st December 2012.

NB Public sector pricing under the PSA12 agreement will not be affected by this change and will remain the same as they currently are.