Microsoft users warned of upcoming Sharepoint and Lync Server price hikes


End users are being urged to look beyond Microsoft's latest round of product price hikes before condemning the software giant for jacking up its Sharepoint and Lync licensing costs.

The last few days have seen numerous members of the Microsoft reseller community publish details of licensing price changes that could see Sharepoint and Lync Server users paying more for their products from 1 December.

It is going to be quite a jump in price for users.

It has been claimed end users that shell out for Sharepoint Server 2013 from the start of next month will have to pay 37 per cent more for the product than its predecessor, Sharepoint 2010.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Lync users are also being urged to brace themselves for a 400 per cent price increase for the latest incarnation of the firm's messaging and collaboration server.

According to several members of the Microsoft reseller community, the price hikes could result in end users paying up to 1,500 more for Sharepoint 2013 and between 2,000-3,000 more for Lync.

Speaking to IT Pro, Richard Gibbons, software manager at Microsoft reseller Bechtle Direct, explained: "Sharepoint Server is around 4,000 at the moment, so an extra 1,500 on a product of that price is a fair whack.

"Lync Standard is just over 500 at the moment, so again that is going to be quite a jump in price for users."

However, Gibbons was quick to point out that end users who stump up for the 2013 versions of Sharepoint and Lync from 1 December will be rewarded with extra functionality, which might make the price hikes a little easier for some end users to swallow.

For instance, Microsoft has introduced changes that mean end users will no longer need to purchase additional Sharepoint for Internet licenses, which allow external users to access the software.

For end users that have previously purchased Standard or Enterprise Sharepoint Server for Internet licenses, which respectively cost around 9,000 and 32,500, the 2013 version of the software represents a significant saving.

"Users that have [purchased those kind of licenses in the past] could save up to and around 27,000 and we do have customers that have been put off deploying Sharepoint in certain ways in the past because of the cost of internet licenses," said Gibbons.

"In cases like that, Microsoft might see some extra Sharepoint deployments, but if you're an organisation that doesn't use Sharepoint in that way and never plan to, you might end up paying extra for something you simply do not use, which may not go down quite so well."

The situation for Lync users is similar, said Gibbons, with enterprise users, who are currently charged a shade over 3,000 for the product, looking set to benefit most from the changes Microsoft is planning to introduce.

"Lync Standard was 551 and Lync Enterprise is just over 3,000 and they are merging those into one SKU," said Gibbons.

"That means Standard users will get all of the functionality that Enterprise users do, but they will have to pay more for that...but enterprise users could end up paying less," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.