Microsoft Releases Office 2013 to Business Customers

Organizations can now buy Office 2013, Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, Project 2013 and Visio 2013.

Microsoft announced the availability of Office 2013 and related on-premise server products for business customers via volume licensing this week.

Organizations can now buy Office 2013, Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, Project 2013 and Visio 2013, according to the company. The products can be purchased through Microsoft's partners or account representatives.

General availability to the public is expected sometime in "the first quarter of 2013," according to the announcement. Those wanting the new Office 365 cloud-based services will have to wait until "early next year," Microsoft's announcement indicated.

The 2013 server products are the release-to-manufacturing final versions that volume licensing customers had access to back in October. What was missing then was the price list to buy the products. Microsoft's December 2012 Open price list was published on December 1.

Not all editions of the products may be available. For instance, a Microsoft blog points out that only Office Standard 2013 and Office Professional Plus 2013 are currently available to volume licensing customers.

Microsoft raised the prices on its Client Access Licenses in its December price list, as well as the prices on SharePoint and Lync server licensing. A statement issued by Microsoft referred to other 2013 product changes, including the notion that some volume licensing costs could decrease.

"These price changes do not necessitate an automatic price increase and some customers may see an overall price reduction," a Microsoft spokesperson claimed.

Microsoft's statement, as issued by a company spokesperson, is reproduced below.

"Microsoft recently notified partners about licensing simplification and pricing changes coming with the next release of Office so they can inform customers about their options prior to license purchase or renewal. These price changes do not necessitate an automatic price increase and some customers may see an overall price reduction.

"As with any new release of Office, we evaluate how customers are using and licensing our products. Based on customer feedback, we simplified licensing options for businesses that want to continue to maintain their own environment. Customers now have consolidated access to features which provides increased flexibility as their deployment needs change. For example:

  • "Microsoft Lync - We replaced the two separate Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition and the Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Edition with a single license. With Lync Server 2013, any organization purchasing or renewing Lync Server gets all of the features previously reserved for the Enterprise Edition license, including enhanced scalability, redundancy and resiliency, in addition to 2013 enhancements such as Lync Web App for remote users to easily join web meetings, multi-party video, and H.264 SVC support to enable HD video conferencing across a range of devices. Lync Server 2013 External Connector rights are also now included for all workloads so customers can connect more easily and richly with external contacts.
  • "Microsoft SharePoint - The array of previous server licenses have been combined into the new SharePoint Server license. We increased the value of the SharePoint Server license by including SharePoint for Internet (and Extranet) Sites, Enterprise Search (FAST), and SkyDrive Pro, the new document storage service for SharePoint, in the main unified server license. Previously, access to those technologies required separate or different licenses.
  • "Microsoft Exchange - The world's leading enterprise email system, will get some fantastic updates including a simplified building block architecture, built-in anti-malware, and an enhanced Outlook Web App. We will also be retiring the separate external connector licensing, but there is no change to price."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.

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