Microsoft will introduce a new per-user licensing option with the release of Exchange Server 2003 later this year, legitimizing the way many companies use existing versions of Exchange. The new license type will be offered in addition to the per-device license introduced with Exchange 2000 Server, said Missy Stern, product manager for Exchange at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash.
The move brings the licensing options for Exchange Server 2003 in line with those of Windows Server 2003, which was announced in April, she said. Buying Exchange involves buying a version of the e-mail server software plus so-called client access licenses (CALs). Pricing for Exchange Server 2003 will be unchanged from Exchange 2000 Server, with Standard Edition priced at $699, Enterprise Edition at $3,999 and CALs at $67, Stern said. "We feel that we are responding to customer needs by keeping the prices the same but packing in many new features," Stern said.
The new per-user CAL covers Exchange access by a single user from a wide variety of devices, while a device CAL covers Exchange access only on a specific machine but by an unlimited number of users. In the past, if a single user were to access Exchange from multiple devices, a license would be required for each device. However, many users did not stick to that rule, analysts said.