Microsoft has been criticised by its partners for further complicating its licensing structure after it announced a price hike on its User Client Access Licences (CALs) across 14 of its products (see below).
The increase, which was announced to partners yesterday, aims to "reflect the increased value" of User CALs - which can be used across different devices - according to a Microsoft statement seen by ChannelWeb.
The price of the affected products will rise by 15 per cent from 1 December. Device CALs will remain unaffected.
The move has not gone down well with some partners, who are still digesting Microsoft's decision to hike UK volume licensing prices at the end of the year.
Andy Trish, managing director of NCI Technologies, said it would introduce confusion among customers.
"When I told my staff, their reaction was: "What is Microsoft playing at?" he said, adding that Microsoft is set to gain a "massive profit margin" from the move.
Gareth Johnson, Microsoft Large Account Reseller Kelway's head of licensing, SAM and training, agreed that the pricing change "adds another layer of complexity to Microsoft licensing".
He said: "The need for a mobile workforce is driving this change. [Microsoft is] moving away from a physical device and more towards a cloud-based, access-anywhere world.
"When you look at the amount of devices people are carrying now, user CALs... are a significantly cheaper way of licensing the end users."
PC Paramedics' managing director, Paul Dadge, said the price rise reflects the vendor's emphasis on the cloud.
He said: "[Microsoft] is forcing the hand of customers to move towards the cloud. Any price rise is strategic; it does not take a genius to work that out."
He added that moving to the cloud is not necessarily the problem, but that the issue lies with who makes the decision.
He said: "The strategy [decisions] should be made by us, but [partners] have to run with Microsoft and whatever its plans are."
In a blog post to its customers, Bytes Technology Group said it expected further pricing changes in the future.
The statement said: "These are not the only licensing changes anticipated - with the new Wave 15 Office Product set imminent we expect further changes coming down the line."
Meanwhile, a blog post by VAR Softcat further confirmed that public sector pricing under the PSA12 agreement will not be affected, nor will User CALs bought in multi-year volume license deals.
Bing Maps Server CAL
Core CAL Suite
Enterprise CAL Suite
Exchange Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
Lync Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
Project Server CAL
SharePoint Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
System Center 2012 Client Management Suite
System Center Configuration Manager
System Center Endpoint Protection
Visual Studio TFS CAL
Windows Multipoint Server CAL
Windows Server CAL
Windows Server RDS, RMS, Terminal Services CAL
Telco also announced series of initiatives to drive digital growth in the UK
Nana Baffour opens up on Getronics' mammoth acquisition of Pomeroy
Analyst predicts SaaS will remain the dominant segment in the market as it grows 17 per cent in 2019
NSS Labs claims vendors are refusing to have their products tested effectively and are trying to restrict its access