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1/18/2007
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10 Key Licensing, Pricing Changes For Vista, Office 2007

Microsoft has instituted at least 10 pricing and licensing changes for Windows Vista and Office 2007.

Microsoft has instituted at least 10 pricing and licensing changes for Windows Vista and Office 2007 that solution providers and end users should heed before taking the plunge, experts say.

As the Redmond, Wash., software giant prepares to ship its next-generation "Longhorn" wave of desktop products on Jan. 30, licensing expert PCMS IT Advisor Group of Cincinnati spotlighted key pricing and licensing changes that will impact enterprise and SMB customers that buy Enterprise Agreements, Select Agreements and Open Value contracts.

Although the most significant changes are on the enterprise side, Microsoft has announced major new options for Enterprise Agreement and Open Value customers, a new Office 2007 offering, a new Exchange Enterprise client access license (CAL), a new desktop product available only with a Software Assurance subscription, and new electronic Volume Activation 2.0 requirements in which software must be activated through Microsoft online.

Last month, PCMS IT Advisor announced its License Acquisition Strategy Services Offer (LASSO), a program that finds, identifies and confirms which software assets are being used on customer sites and clarifies the customer's licensing and version status.

Matt Scherocman, vice president of consulting at PCMS IT Advisor, noted that while each customer's situation is unique, there are 10 pricing and licensing moves that will impact all Vista and/or Office 2007 customers. They include the following:

1. Price increases for Office Professional and Project. Upgrading from Office Pro EE 2003 to Office Pro Plus 2007 entails a more than 5 percent price increase, and upgrading to the new Office Enterprise 2007 represents a 22 percent cost hike.

2. Office Enterprise 2007 is a new product and includes Office Professional Plus 2007, OneNote and Groove. This complements Office Standard 2007 and Office Professional Plus 2007 Office suites.

3. New CALs are available for Exchange Enterprise CAL and SharePoint Enterprise CAL.

4. The new Enterprise CAL Suite consists of the Core CAL Suite (CALs for Windows, Exchange, SharePoint and SMS Servers) and CALs for Office Communications Server Standard/Enterprise with instant messaging and Web conferencing, SharePoint Enterprise, Exchange Enterprise, Windows Rights Management Services, Operations Management Client and Forefront Security Suite.

5. Vista Enterprise offers BitLocker encryption, a multilingual user interface, a subsystem for Unix-based applications and Virtual PC Express and is available only to customers with Software Assurance.

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