Windows admins get surprise Skype update in WSUS, more Microsoft licensing hikes

Windows admins aren’t happy about the surprise Skype update in WSUS, new RemoteFX requirements or Microsoft’s latest licensing changes – and had plenty to say about it this week.

Windows administrators don't have a lot of choice in their environments, and this week was no exception. Read on to find out what people really thought about recent news regarding Microsoft RemoteFX, software licensing for charity organizations and a surprise WSUS inclusion.

"What good is a new version of a protocol that doesn't apply to the client OS businesses are running today and will be running for the foreseeable future?"
- Gartner analyst Gunnar Berger, lamenting the fact that the new version of RemoteFX, which addresses many previous limitations of the product, will be available only to those who upgrade to Windows 8 (and Windows Server 2012). Berger and others also suggest the improvements to the protocol aren't as comprehensive as they could be. 

"Had we waited this would have cost us nearly four times as much."
- Keith Saunders, group ICT Manager for North Star Housing Group in England, on the impact of Microsoft's software licensing hikes for some UK charities.

The changes, set to debut in September, will make organizations that receive less than 10% of their revenue from donations ineligible to receive the highest level of discounts. The increase comes after Microsoft announced a price increase of up to 33% for UK volume licensing customers beginning in July.

 "To put it politely, this behavior is very unwelcome in our environment."
- Microsoft TechNet commenter ToolExpert, responding to the accidental inclusion of Skype 5.9 as part of a recent bundle of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) updates deployed to Windows systems this week. Many frustrated administrators had to manually uninstall the program from workstations that did not previously run Skype.

"If I extrapolate Windows Server 2012 performance, 2014 will allow you to build your own sentient Skynet in under three minutes."
- Joost van Schaik (@LocalJoost), a Netherlands-based .NET Architect and Developer, responding to demonstrations of Microsoft's new server operating system at TechEd Europe in Amsterdam.

While the new server operating system – expected to be released by the fall – is highly anticipated due to a number of virtualization feature updates and support for public and private clouds, most enterprises won’t upgrade to Windows Server 2012 immediately. Microsoft also showed off Windows 8 during the annual technical conference this week.

"Hyper-V has been 'around the corner' for seven years now."
- VMware Inc. CTO Steve Herrod, commenting on Microsoft's tendency to promote products before they are available.

Microsoft has been pushing the latest version of its hypervisor platform for months now, noting how it compares favorably with VMware vSphere (even if it's not perfect). It's commonly assumed that Hyper-V is cheaper, though it remains to be seen whether those savings merit a move from one to the other.

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