Microsoft updates Core CAL: Lync, Forefront, price increases come to key license

Microsoft Core Cal Changes adding Forefront and Lync

Today, Microsoft announced two product additions to the Core Client Access License (Core CAL), which will impact the pricing and functionality of its popular desktop licensing suite.

As of August 1st, Lync Standard CAL and  Forefront Endpoint Protection will move to Core CAL. Previously these products lived on the Enterprise CAL “Step Up”, and made up part of the Enterprise Suite stack. Organizations who have Software Assurance on their Core CAL as of August 1st, will have access to the new features.

This is the first major change to Core CAL in ten years, and Microsoft says it reflects the evolving desktop environment, which has larger demands on collaboration and seamless security management. The change also helps Core CAL deliver essential capabilities to users, and aligns the on-premise platform with Microsoft’s online offerings, such as Office 365 and Windows Intune.

Lync Standard is an entry-point version of Microsoft’s next-generation instant communications tool, and allows for PC-to-PC calling, “rich presence” and conference calling, among several other features. Forefront Endpoint Protection combines security and management at the desktop level.

New Core CAL pricing

We expect to see moderate price increases to Core CAL, but Microsoft will not release final details until the August 1st price list is out. We anticipate that with discounts to the E-CAL Step Up, the full E-CAL Suite stack will be roughly the same cost as today.

We’ve put together a detailed guide to the new Core CAL including an FAQ. It gives you a closer look at the estimated pricing, the licensing nuances for existing and future Core CAL customers, and much more. Take a look: Microsoft_Core_Cal and FAQ (PDF)

Download our guide to Core CAL changes (including FAQ):Core Cal Changes guide Lync and Forefront FAQ


UPDATED: Our webinar series about these important changes is now wrapped up, but you can download the full slideshow on Slideshare.

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About Tobin Dalrymple

Tobin Dalrymple is a longtime Softchoice contributor and the IEF program writer living in Montreal.