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Microsoft slaps 13 per cent increase on mobile enterprise levy

User CALs up for iPads, Androids...

Microsoft has bumped up the levy it charges mobile users to connect to Windows servers.

The price of Microsoft’s user client access license (CALs) needed for its enterprise suite has gone up by 13 per cent.

The new price for the Enterprise CAL suite is $135 per on Software Assurance for a year for those qualifying for Microsoft's price band A.

User CALs are needed by any device - Microsoft and non-Microsoft - accessing the Microsoft enterprise suite.

It's a way for Microsoft to cash in on the growing presence on iPads, iPhones, BlackBerries, Androids and any other mobile device in the enterprise while its own efforts falter.

They are charged when accessing Microsoft’s enterprise suite – that includes Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for business.

This is the first time Microsoft has raised the enterprise user CAL price since 2012, when Microsoft bumped things up by 12 per cent.

The increase is to be found in Microsoft’s August price list.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg: “We always evaluate current market conditions, the increased product value for a customer, customer deployment scenarios and other factors when determining pricing for our products and services.”

The price Microsoft charges for device CALs have not increased – it remains at $104.28.

User CALs are more beneficial to Microsoft customers than device CALs in an era of device proliferation.

It means the right to access the Microsoft server software is charged on a user rather than on a device-by-device basis. In an organisation where one person might use lots of difference devices, a user CAL can mean potential savings. It's also a system that’s easier to administer.

Microsoft licensing expert Paul DeGroot, who spotted the hike, told The Reg: “Microsoft is capitalising on the fact that people are using a lot of devices. It’s an interesting tax that lets Microsoft capture some of the revenue from iPads, Samsungs and iPhones.”

There’s understood to be about 100 million people licensed for CALs in one form or another, according to numbers Microsoft’s dropped at various analyst events.

“It’s a substantial amount of revenue,” DeGroot said who - will be hosting his first London workshop on Microsoft licensing in October, here. ®

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