Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Exchange 2007 Enterprise Client Access Licensing change

It is not often that Microsoft publicly bends so much at customer outrage, so enjoy this. Exchange 5.5/2000/2003 all had a feature that allowed the administrator to clean up old content in user's mailboxes. In E2K SP1+/E2K3, this is called the Mailbox Manager and a lot of people use it.

In E2K7, this feature is rolled in to messaging records management (MRM); MRM allows you to manage content in both the Default folders (Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, Contacts, Calendar, etc...) as well as creating custom folders and managing the content in those folders. However, MRM features were announced to be a "premimum" feature and therefore if you used it for a user's mailbox, that user required an Exchange 2007 Enterprise CAL instead of just a Standard CAL.

Apparently enough customers complained (loudly) that this was outrageous to charge more for a feature set that was included previously. Microsoft changed the licensing policy so that you could use messaging records management to manage the Default folders (not custom folder management, though) without buying an E2K7 Enterprise CAL.

See, complaining (sorry "reporting your discontent") does make a difference sometimes. Tell your local Microsoft office. Report it to mswish@microsoft.com. Attend Microsoft events and tell the folks in the Microsoft booths. Post it in the TechNet or USENet newsgroups. Call Steve Ballmer. Just be calm, rational, and present your case.


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