"I don't have a single customer who will benefit from this," says Cynthia Farren, who runs the Cynthia Farren Consulting firm and writes a blog on Microsoft licensing for Network World. "The functionality of Lync Server Standard CAL is pretty limited, so basically unless you're just using it for PC-to-PC IM it's not going to be of much use, as you probably already needed the Enterprise CAL. Forefront Endpoint Protection requires System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to manage it - that's fine as it's part of the Core CAL but a good number of my clients have elected to not invest in the manpower needed to implement and run SCCM, so Forefront Endpoint Protection adds no value to them."
Even customers who don't need System Center may still opt for the Core CAL in order to get Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange at a reduced rate, Farren notes. But customers who purchase the Core CAL, but not the Enterprise CAL, will see a rise in price regardless of whether they opt to use Forefront Endpoint Protection and Lync.
Another benefit of the core and enterprise CALs, according to Microsoft, is that they may be licensed on either a per-user or per-device basis, even when the pieces of software included in the CAL are eligible for only one or the other when purchased individually.
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