Why are we doing this? It's the popularity of iPhone and Android. We analyzed mobile usage patterns and saw that iOS (iPhone and iPad) accounts for about 70% of mobile devices used with Kerio Connect, followed by Android - and most of these are configured with Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).
Kerio Connect has long offered EAS. Several years ago we also added CalDAV and CardDAV, which over the years have matured into robust alternatives to EAS. Kerio licenses EAS from Microsoft with royalties based on the number of mailboxes using EAS. Until now, we've absorbed the cost of the royalties without a direct price hike, but the rapid increase of iOS and Android devices connecting to Kerio Connect via EAS has forced us to re-evaluate.
So, we arrived at an intersection - should we raise the price of Kerio Connect for everyone, or should we charge a fee for EAS, and if so, how much and should it be for all users or individual users?
Rather than raising the price of Kerio Connect for everyone, we decided to offer Exchange ActiveSync as a paid service to those who prefer EAS over our free open standards option. We are pricing it at $2/user/year (€1,60 / Ł1,30 / 40 CZK / 2 AUD) simply to recuperate the Microsoft licensing fees. Much like our Sophos antivirus service, the EAS service must be purchased for all users on a Kerio Connect license. The EAS service is not licensed per device, it's per user mailbox - which means you can connect as many EAS devices to your mailbox as you need.
Yes, we also considered allowing Kerio Connect customers to buy EAS just for individual users (at a higher per user price), but that comes at a significant development cost - i.e. a brand new and more complex UI to manage EAS license allocation in Connect - which we are not ready to do at this time. We opted for a lower price per user with a simple user management model.
So, here you have it. After May 1, and only at the time of your next software maintenance renewal, you will have two options to choose from - one paid (EAS) and one free (IMAP/CardDAV/CalDAV), which both provide comparable service. Until your next software maintenance renewal comes due there is nothing you need to do. EAS will continue working without interruption as it does today.
Now, I can't stress this enough - we are making an unwavering commitment to both options:
Kerio Connect will offer Exchange ActiveSync for mobile device synchronization going forward. In fact, the upcoming Kerio Connect 8.1 will be compatible with Windows 8 which relies on EAS for Mail, Calendars and People apps.
Kerio Connect will offer free, open-standards way for mobile device synchronization going forward. We are a founding member and an active contributor to CalConnect, and we truly believe that open standards in interoperability are the best path forward for customers.
Things to know:
Some people don't like the fact that with an Active Directory password policy they have to change several passwords (for Mail app, Calendar app, Contacts app…) or recreate a profile in iOS. Compared to typing in your new password just once if you use EAS - it sucks. But… recreating a profile is a simple enough step with our auto-config tool.
Some people don't like the fact that IMAP in iOS offers just pull email, and you get email in 15 minute intervals or you pull them manually. Again, it sucks. If you absolutely depend on instant email notifications, you are better off with EAS.
Android OS does not offer native CardDAV and CalDAV support (unlike iOS). So there it gets a little more complicated, you have to install a paid CalDAV-Sync beta client ($2.84) and CardDAV-Sync client ($2.06) from Google Play.
You can renew software early and postpone the EAS fee. If you renew software maintenance before May 1 for a current license expiring at a future date, your Kerio Connect will automatically update its license and you will get EAS at no fee for the duration of your pre-paid software maintenance term.
To reiterate, as of May 1, EAS will be a paid service at $2/user/year. If you choose to continue using EAS, you will need to license EAS at your next license renewal. If you would like to use the free alternative, read our KB articles to find out how to configure your iOS and Android mobile device using open standards.
Original article available on our blog.
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