Microsoft Unveils Pricing for Lync Offerings

As Microsoft prepares to ship Lync 2010, the company has some good news about the unified communications package for price-conscious IT buyers.

 By Stuart J. Johnston
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With only three months before Microsoft ships the next version of Office Communications Server -- now renamed "Lync" -- the company recently revealed pricing for the unified communication package.

In mid-September, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) made the first "release candidate" -- a final test version of the product -- available for customers to download and test. At the same time, Microsoft announced it changed the OCS branding to Lync.

Meanwhile, Lync remains on target to ship by the end of the year, a company spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.

For customers girding themselves for a price hike, however, they may be pleasantly surprised to find out that charges for server and client licenses are staying, for the most part, unchanged.

Microsoft is fielding two editions of the server. Lync Server 2010 Standard needs to be installed on a single server and is intended for users who don't need load balancing to provide higher-availability, according to a Microsoft Lync website.

The other edition is Lync Server 2010 Enterprise, which lets administrators spread server functionality and data storage across multiple servers in order to help provide higher availability via load balancing.

"We have decreased the price of the Enterprise CAL by 23 percent. All other prices are unchanged from the previous version of the product, known as Communications Server 2007 R2," the Microsoft spokesperson said.

Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition costs $699, while Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Edition is priced at $3,999. A client access license (CAL) for Standard Edition is $31, while an Enterprise Edition CAL costs $107.

There is a third CAL as well - called the Plus CAL and also priced at $107.

"It's the CAL that encompasses the entire UC voice solution and will be attractive to those companies who want that," the spokesperson said.

The updated unified communications package adds new features like skill searches, as well as improved presence and location awareness, the company said.

"We will ... have additional details on how customers can purchase Lync when the product is made generally available by the end of this calendar year," the spokesperson added.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

This article was originally published on Sep 30, 2010
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