back to article Resellers: Microsoft price hike was 'demanded by Euro country bosses'

Microsoft's planned overhaul of volume-licensing prices was in response to cries of frustration from its European country managers unhappy their UK counterpart were benefiting from the regional disparity to win biz on the continent, channel sources claim. As The Register recently revealed, the software giant is aligning …


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  1. Piloti

    Another reason to go FOSS!

    If ever there was a need for another reason, surly this would be it ??

  2. Alan 6

    Why is it that when prices are "harmonised" the UK always seems to lose out?

    1. Marvin the Martian

      A: Because the pound went toilet-ward?

      or B: Because the world strives to malign the little englanders? Must think hard now.

      By definition, YOU don't notice if prices go up in another country to adjust for their devaluation.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Because the UK has it good...

      in comparison to Europe.

      Adobe are probably one of the worst offenders. The UK version of Creative Suite is a bargain, compared to buying it over here!

    3. big_D Silver badge

      The Pound...

      Part of the problem is the pound has collapsed (I know, my savings and pension are still in the UK are are worth less than half of what they were). Although the prices in the UK hadn't changed, the products in the UK are much cheaper, in real terms compared to the rest of the world, than they were.

      MS are now realigning.

      To be honest, I'd prefer that they sink the EU prices by 20%, rather than increase the UK prices. ;-)

    4. ZweiBlumen

      Probably because the Pound seems to be devaluing all the time. You can't devalue by 25% and not expect imports to go up by roughly the same amount.

      Is it really the resellers that are complaining? Probably. But MS are also loosing 25% of their revenue compared to 5 years ago when you look at the $/£ exchange rate. Of course MS would rather blame the resellers than themselves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Loosing != losing


  3. manyspendidgeek

    The assumption being...

    that there will be a euro in July.

  4. Dare to Think
    IT Angle

    Quite honestly, where is the USP?

    Let's mix monetary with the technical aspects: With Microsoft, we have a proprietary platform, which costs a great deal of licensing fees and comes with a bit of software. As it is globally deployed, the virus a frustrated student writes in Elbonia will work anywhere on this planet. That's why we have a massive proliferation of malware, viruses, internet worms, etc. for the Windows platforms. To protect against this, corporations will have to spend even more money on local anti-virus and encryption software - there are even industry standards for this, such as PCI-DSS. Whenever I ask why companies still slap MS Windows and MS Office on their laptops, the answers I get are a mixture of "'cos we've always done it this way" and "it's because of MS Office". Therefore, the MS Windows platform is an agglomeration of several licenses and internal as well as external support contracts with a bit of software.

    Where then, is the Unique Selling Point of the Windows platform, since ever more powerful tools and operating systems are freely available, the innovation there is mind blowing (since not controlled by any corporation) and if you absolutely want you can purchase external support for these, too? LibreOffice, Debian/Ubuntu, and hopefully soon Calligra Suite are a few of the many examples on how to save on licensing fees on the desktop with an enhancing effect on productivity, and the client/server concept is being widened if not replaced by SOA and it's web interfaces. LAMP/LEMP servers within KVM are widely deployed already. SAP and Oracle run on Linux, too.

    Can someone tell me the reason for MS Windows?

    1. Steve Renouf

      #Can someone tell me the reason for MS Windows?


      'cos we've always done it this way" There is no other reason. Unless, of course, the software that you need to run only runs on W. However, there are even ways round that now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Steve has part of the reason, in that many people in the industry know no other way.

      How did it get like that?

      It got like that not because Windows was or is best technically, it got like that because MS is a great deal maker, best at setting up a whole ecosystem whose monthly salaries and financial futures depend on the continued success of Windows.

      The whole "certified Microsoft dependent" network, their "system builders", "channel partners", and so on. Why should these people be interested in what' technology might be best for the end user (or even the people paying the bills) - these folks are like tied financial advisers, they are not allowed to look outside their One True World because their contracts with Microsoft don't permit them to look elsewhere than Windows and retain their "certified MS dependent" status.

      When something other than Windows/x86 shows signs of having that kind of ecosystem, then The End is Nigh.

    3. CABVolunteer

      Also, because it's often not the end-user organisation that chooses MS

      When software is being chosen for a new (or a major revamp of an existing) project, who makes the choice of whether to go with Microsoft, Oracle, FOSS or whatever? Many projects are controlled by external consultants. If the external consultants were ever to recommend zero purchase-cost software, rather than expensive proprietary software, the fees for the consultants will appear to be a much higher proportion of the total costs, so the client is likely to start to wonder about the size of the consultants' bill....

    4. El Andy

      Because Windows runs all the software they need to run and that all their staff are experienced in. Licensing costs are ultimately a tiny proportion of the investment that goes into the IT infrastructure of a business and the rest is something most people vastly underestimate. And when it comes to large scale managability, pretty much nothing even begins to come close to what can be achieved with Windows and Active Directory, nor will it likely ever do so because it's an aspect of corporate ownership which the FOSS crowd generally don't understand or agree with,

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Oh lets see

      So we'd have to retrain all 80 IT staff, then 3500 users, rewrite 100's of programs, agree with hundreds of customers that interface directly with us constantly to change the way they work. Throw away millions of pounds worth of software, replace close on 3000 servers (after all we can't use the old ones as they'll need to stay live during migration)

      Then of course rebuild our internal infrastructure, you know petty things like Lync (what's a decent free FOSS version of this?), Video conferencing kit, Outlook, Exchange, Telephony interfaces, Sharepoint, Office (including visio, again a decent FFOS alternative please).

      Oh and everything stil needs to run 24/7/365. Fuck up and your losing us several miilion £ / hour.

      Should only cost a few 10's of millions to do.

      Oh and by the way, were not anti Linux / FoSS, but we also don't live in the make belive world.

      You see FOSS != free.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Why do everything in one day?

        I write portable code that uses cross platform libraries. Moving it to Windows or Mac requires only a little effort. Why haven't your 80 IT staff done likewise? Keep the interface constant and your 3500 users do not need to know what has happened.

        Buy one new Linux server, get it to duplicate the work of one of your 3000 servers. When you are confident that it is doing its job, that frees up a high spec machine that you can install linux on to duplicate the work of two other windows boxes. Lather, rinse, repeat.

        Or, you could keep buying Microsoft licenses and retrain everyone whenever Microsoft tells you that it is time to upgrade to the next big thing.

    6. big_D Silver badge

      LibreOffice != MS Office

      I use Linux, OS X and Windows every day, I used Linux as my primary desktop for several years. But in business, there isn't a lot of choice.

      If your customers or partners use MS office, there really isn't an alternative, if you are exchanging documents with them.

      If all the documents are being exported as PDF or printed out, before being sent out, you could possibly switch to LibreOffice or another solution, depending on which features you regularly use.

      LibreOffice always messes up the formatting, when going to/from MS formats. This isn't all LibreOffice's fault, but it is irrelevant whose fault it is, when you are doing a presentation in front of the board of a customer and all the lines on the presentation are going to the wrong boxes! (I've been there and done that, the customer came to us with a plan in PPT, the boss believed OpenOffice was sufficient, we didn't need MS licences. The boss put the PPT on our presentation computer and all the slides went haywire! After that, he did invest in a copy of Office for the presentation PC and for a "test" PC, where documents were reformatted, before they were sent out to third parties.

      Likewise, there are lots of applications used for workflows, which are written explicitly for Windows. PhotoShop is a good example, there are plenty of alternatives out there, but they come up light on features and add-ins which professionals rely on in their daily work.

      Can you run a business without MS software? Yes, if you are a new start up and you don't need to interact with other companies which use MS software. It is a shame, I really like FOSS software, but in business you can't often use it exclusively - I use a mixture of FOSS and proprietary, using the best tool for each task.

    7. Tom 13

      @Dare: Because MS was the first to market with

      a reasonably good, reasonably stable, and inexpensive computer way, way, back in the day. Because it was all of those things plus the hardware got even more affordable, they developed the biggest installed base. That installed base is their most valuable asset. If you move away from that base you encounter friction when you deal with other businesses. Whether it's the act of explaining to them that there is nothing wrong with your documents when they open them and get the "converting" message (because MS has tweaked something and even though your FOSS program supports the format MS said was public it doesn't exactly any more), or outright rejection because you aren't using the right software it is still friction. In business, the less friction on things that don't matter, the easier it is to deal with friction where they do.

      Not that I'm necessarily happy about this, but it is at the heart of the matter. In fact, this truth even causes MS problems: Do you really think MS extended support for XP for as long as they did because they wanted to? Do you really think they want businesses to still be stuck on IE6? Whatever you thing of the quality of their new OS and browser, MS obviously want people buying new stuff because that maintains or increases the MS money stream.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A likely tale. Nothing at all to do with profits?

  6. bep

    It's the accountants

    They want Excel, and that is bundled into MS Office, which comes on Windows. It also comes on Mac as well, which might help explain the steady increase in the Mac's market share. I'd still prefer to be using WordPerfect, but it doesn't come with Excel, and the accountants count the beans.

  7. Clyde

    currency difference baloney

    What's the difference between euro and sterling got to do with Microsoft pricing ?

    There's a huge value difference between the dollar and the sterling pricing of MS product. But if I buy US product for use here in Scotland, then MS will have me over the barrel quicker than they can say counterfeit product.

    So that's a baloney argument about price differentials between countries in Europe.

    1. jamie 5

      >There's a huge value difference between the dollar and the sterling pricing of MS product. But if I buy US product for use here in Scotland, then MS will have me over the barrel quicker than they can say counterfeit product.

      Because the EU hosts a common market in goods and services, perchance.

      And for those moaning about the pound, it's remained reasonably static against the dollar over the last 2 years. It's the USD and Euro which are in a race to the bottom.

  8. Richard Cartledge

    All the more reason to switch to Apple who just charge the same easy payment figure in every country. $499 = $499 = €499

    1. phuzz Silver badge


      (The post is required, and must contain letters.)

    2. Lockwood

      I thought that was the standard internet exchange rate.

    3. I think so I am?

      A shocking fact....

      $499 = €374 or £314

      1. Lockwood

        Missed the point?

        That's what we call "real exchange rates". We don't like those fancy things in these here parts.

    4. Tom 13

      Apple? I thought that was


      1. Lockwood

        And Valve

  9. Crisp Silver badge

    This is a no brainer.

    Figure out the base value of the product, then convert it to the relevant currency.

    If a company is charging above the base value in one country but not another, then it is blatantly profiteering.

    1. Tom 13

      @Crisp: So then I guess you've never heard of

      Warren Buffet or George Soros.

      Here's a hint: governments sometimes (I'd say frequently, but I'm in a generous mood at the moment) do stupid things with their currencies.

  10. BoldMan
    Thumb Down

    No its called charging what the market will bear

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