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Microsoft Backs Off Controversial Exchange 2007 Licensing Policy

Microsoft has backed off a controversial licensing provision introduced with Exchange 2007 that forced customers to spend more money to get basic mailbox management features.

Last month, Microsoft issued a licensing advisory to channel partners and customers informing them that access to the Managed Default Folders feature in Exchange 2007 — the functional equivalent of the Mailbox Manager introduced with Exchange 2003 — would be reinstated as part of the Exchange 2007 Standard client access license (CAL), or Core CAL.

When the e-mail system was launched in December, Microsoft said the renamed mailbox manager feature would be available only under the newly introduced, and more expensive, Exchange 2007 Enterprise CAL. Previously, Microsoft offered only one CAL for Exchange, and mailbox management was included.

The decision late last year initially confused and then infuriated partners and customers, who argued that they were paying more for a feature that has been part of the core product for four years and is already used by millions of customer worldwide.

Microsoft decided to bend.

“At the time of the Exchange Server 2007 release to manufacturing, access to Messaging Records Management (MRM) was licensed as part of the Exchange Enterprise CAL. To provide the closest possible functional equivalence to what was available in Exchange Server 2003, access to Managed Default Folders in Exchange Server 2007 is now licensed as part of the Exchange Standard CAL,” Microsoft said in the licensing advisory issued in May.

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Microsoft, Exchange, Server, Exchange Server 2007, Licensing, Policy

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