There is considerable confusion and misunderstanding floating around about Microsoft Lync Server 2013 editions because of Microsoft’s recent licensing/pricing changes and the verbiage used to communicate these changes. The short answer to much of the confusion is this:
Yes, you can still deploy your choice of Lync Enterprise or Lync Standard Edition, but they now cost the same and there is only 1 Microsoft part number (or license) to buy.
So buy a Microsoft Lync Server 2013 license and use it for 1 FE server in either a Standard Edition Server scenario or an Enterprise Edition Pool scenario---you can choose.
Lync Server 2013 Licensing Change FAQ:
Q. Do I need to get special media for Standard vs. Enterprise scenarios?
A. No, just like before, you decide this when defining the Lync topology. So for non-technical people this means that provision for both scenarios is on one CD image.
Q. Does a Lync Server 2013 license for 1 Front End server in a Standard Edition scenario cost exactly the same as 1 Front End for an Enterprise Edition scenario?
A. Yes, that is the main change Microsoft is making. You buy ONE Lync Server license and use it how you see fits you best.
Q. Does this mean licensing a Lync Server for a Standard Edition scenario has increased dramatically?
A. Yes, before this licensing change a Std. Edition server was approximately $699USD. Now it is approximately $3646USD. Microsoft notes that several things are now included in this licensing to increase it value: #1-added redundancy and resiliency features #2-external connector rights are now included with this license
Q. If a Standard Edition server costs the same as an Enterprise Edition Server, why wouldn’t we install an Enterprise Edition server?
A. A Standard Edition scenario can be implemented with a minimum of OS, Servers and SQL licenses for small implementations.
So yes, Lync Standard Edition is still here and you can install it, it just costs the same as Enterprise Edition.
Read Mary Jo Foley’s new article on this as well: