There aren’t many changes to the Product List this month with the main amendments falling into two key areas. The first is the renaming of Lync Server 2013 to Skype for Business Server 2015 and that’s happened throughout the document. The components of the CAL Suites are updated to included Skype for Business Server CALs (page 19) and all the information on upgrades and licence grants for customers with Lync SA are removed and a reference is added to the April 2014 Product List (page 28).
Then there are some changes for government customers and these include the introduction of government-specific SKUs for the Enterprise Cloud Suite, Project Online, Project Lite, Project Pro for Office 365, Visio Pro for Office 365, and Office 365 Extra File Storage (pages 47, 55, 61). In addition, the Product List is updated to show more clearly which services are available under the US Government Community Cloud program – look out for a “UC” cell identifier – and, in particular, ECS is now available under GCC (page 47).
Finally, there are a couple of Education-specific SKUs added for Dynamics Marketing and Social Engagement (page 52).
It’s a bizarre month these days when a Forefront product has the most interesting licensing changes in the Product List but that’s exactly what we find this April!
Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 R2 exited the Product List last month but sneaks back in this month with some changes to the licensing. Essentially, the right to install FIM is moved to Windows Server 2012 R2 (see page 39) and those customers who had active SA on FIM 2010 R2 at 1 April 2015 are deemed to have 1 Windows Server Datacenter licence. There aren’t, however, changes to the licensing of users accessing FIM functionality – see this article for which licences can be used: http://wp.me/p3K5IZ-et.
The other main changes are to do with some name changes – Microsoft Social Listening is rebranded as Microsoft Social Engagement – again more details are here: http://wp.me/p3K5IZ-ep and Lync Online changes to Skype for Business Online, all ready for its launch in the middle of April.
Finally, the information on the upgrade rights for customers who had SA coverage for SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse on 1 March 1 2013 is removed, and there’s a reference back to the March 2014 Product List.
Lync Online is becoming Skype for Business Online and General Availability is confirmed as 14 April 2015: http://bit.ly/1F5Eawk.
This excellent Microsoft article gives a good heads-up on what we can expect from Skype for Business when it starts rolling out in April.
It is, of course, the next version of Lync and there will be a client, a server, and an Office 365 service which will include enterprise voice. There will also be support for a range of devices optimised for Skype for Business known as Skype Room Systems devices. Read the full article here (http://bit.ly/1BWBtjj) and watch this space for details on the licensing changes when they’re announced…