back to article Microsoft: We're hiking UK cloud prices 22%. Stop whining – it's the Brexit

Life is to get a lot more expensive for Microsoft customers from the start of next year with currency linked, double-digit price hikes looming for cloud and on-premise software. Software resellers, integrators and cloud service providers were warned about the price rises late on Friday afternoon and told us they expected a …

  1. Joerg

    Stop whining. Start killing Microsoft instead!

    1. luminous

      Can you tell me a DTP program for Windows that doesn't pixelate screenshots when you embed them in a word document? LibreOffice pixelated them so badly that they were unreadable. I signed up for Office 365 on the spot so I could deliver to my client.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Pixelated

        I think probably you need to use a graphics editing program to resize and smooth your screenshot images before placing them. Bear in mind that a screenshot consists of pixels, so that's what you'll get out of it.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Pixelated

          Can't say for a DTP program, but i find Irfanview is pretty handy for manipulating images before sticking them in something like word, it's free and always seems to me to be pretty low overhead on resources for what you can get out of it, tends to be a always install program on any system I use/ build.

        2. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Pixelated

          @Robert

          "I think probably you need to use a graphics editing program to resize and smooth your screenshot images before placing them. Bear in mind that a screenshot consists of pixels, so that's what you'll get out of it."

          I think his point was that office doesn't have the issue so its more efficient to use office than some mishmash of different products to achieve the same result.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Can you tell me a DTP program for Windows that doesn't pixelate screenshots when you embed them in a word document? LibreOffice pixelated them so badly that they were unreadable.

        We've never had problems, but do you deliver it to your client as PDF? If so, the "General" tab under "File - export as PDF" has an "Images" section and I suspect you have it set to "JPEG compression" or maybe have "Reduce image resolution" enabled.

        Switch it to "Lossless" and disable "Reduce image resolution" and try again - you'll find that will rather improves matters :). I would not invest too much in DTP this year: next year, Affinity are planning to release a DTP package and the software they've released so far suggests it may be worth the wait..

      3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Scribus?

        Not tried it myself but it's available on Windows.

        https://www.scribus.net/

        1. breakfast

          Re: Scribus?

          You have to learn to use it - the workflow is very much about publishing - but it seems to work pretty well, certainly a viable match to Publisher and way more usable than LibreOffice in terms of fitting images and text on the page together.

      4. Walter Bishop Silver badge
        Linux

        LibreOffice pixelated images

        I see no pixelation on this screenshot of a PDF created in LibreOffice.

      5. Dave Lawton

        DTP for Windows - try Ovation Pro

        http://http://www.davidpilling.info/cd/main.html

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Perhaps Paint is more your style?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Stop whining. Start killing Microsoft instead!

      You could always move over to Amazon - they haven't put up their UK prices.

      .....although they charge in Dollars of course :)

      Don't understand the outrage or surprise - when the Pound crashed imports got expensive and importers like MS aren't going to cover it. Same thing with Apple the other day, same will happen over the next few months on High Street and in the supermarkets.

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        What's imported?

        https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/microsoft-azure-now-available-from-uk-datacenters/ - Posted on 7 September, 2016

        So the hardware is already there. Running costs are in £. Staff - Onsite staff will be paid in £.

        How do you want to be gouged today?

  2. Steelted

    UK is doomed!!!

    And who needs Microsoft? I prefer Linux.

    1. yossarianuk

      Re: UK is doomed!!!

      Me too.

      However the fact that police, schools, hospitals, councils, etc use Windows means the taxpayer will pay more of our tax on Microsoft.

      Migration to Linux for all public services would saves money over years, decades.

      Yes there would be a need to re-write apps (using open standards so we're never in the position of having to stick to an EOL OS to run in the future) and re-training but give it a decade or so and we would be saving money (whilst probably having a more efficient/secure system), it would mean not having to upgrade hardware in order to run the latest Windows (which the tax payer will be forking out for WinXP/7 -> Win10 upgrades) and has the added bonus of taxpayers money being used for the public good - the improvement of technology for everyone.

      1. Law

        Re: UK is doomed!!!

        "However the fact that police, schools, hospitals, councils, etc use Windows means the taxpayer will pay more of our tax on Microsoft."

        Good news, some NHS laptops are getting an upgrade from windows 7 to windows 8.1 this month! Money well spent!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: UK is doomed!!!

      "And who needs Microsoft?"

      Those who've already been sucked into Azure? Note how those who are more strongly locked in get a steeper price rise than those who might find it easier to move to Linux. Nevertheless this is still slicing the salami rather thickly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UK is doomed!!!

        " than those who might find it easier to move to Linux"

        But - errm - lots of VMs on Azure DO run Linux....It's just that it's a better Amazon than Amazon...

        1. breakfast

          Re: UK is doomed!!!

          Microsoft Azure: Amazon for people who like downtime.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: UK is doomed!!!

            "Microsoft Azure: Amazon for people who like downtime."

            I seem to recall rather more Amazon major outages....

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: UK is doomed!!!

        Those who've already been sucked into Azure?

        That's the price of being an early adopter - you always pay more than everyone else and suffer more grief...

    3. Alan Bourke

      Re: UK is doomed!!!

      Who needs Microsoft? People who need the use the actual software that actual businesses need day to day? Gamers? And so forth.

      Well done if you run Linux. So do I. You're delusional if you think it will be the year of Linux on the consumer or corporate desktop any time soon though.

      1. Hans Blick

        Re: UK is doomed!!!

        Well done if you run Linux. So do I. You're delusional if you think it will be the year of Linux on the consumer or corporate desktop any time soon though....

        Seems to be working well for IBM, now with the biggest corporate deployment in the world and paying less in support costs...

      2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: UK is doomed!!!

        It should be the year of the browser. A Pig to program.. but then you can use whatever browser if you did your job well.

        Corporate computers should run a hosted machine unless mobile (virtual desktops, etc).. and ppl should be careful about running things on the cloud.. it is really expensive.

        We run most of our services on the cloud, for the very simple reason that we are a small company and dont want to have to be "on the ready" 24/7.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: UK is doomed!!!

          It should be the year of the browser.

          Well remembered!

          Obviously, those who promoted browser style thin-clients must have been quietly taken to oneside and given a talking to; as they've been quietly forgotten about...

  3. Tom 64
    Megaphone

    Can we rename Brexit please?

    I'm not sure which tory spin doctor came up with 'brexit', but its really starting to get on my tits.

    How about 'clisterfuxit', or 'brexshit'?

    1. Len Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Can we rename Brexit please?

      Pig's Brexit?

    2. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Can we rename Brexit please?

      Nothing to do with the Tories - it came from the EuroActiv website, who stole it from "Grexit" which came from Citibank.

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Can we rename Brexit please?

      Currently I'm rather fond of Wrexit

  4. mix
    Go

    Work the problem?

    I'm really tired of the doom-mongering for every possible brexit backlash. Another US conglomerate decides to hike its prices and everyone immediately blames the brexit voters, looking for a scapegoat.

    Seems to me that every company trying to make a buck out of this opportunity should be met with a "no thanks." whilst we buy/use something else. There is a solution to most problems, we just need our country(ies), its government and its people to stand up and make the decision work in the best interests of our country(ies).

    Linux for all I say. :)

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: Work the problem?

      "we just need our country(ies), its government and its people to stand up and make the decision work in the best interests of our country(ies)."

      The best interest of our country is served by remaining in the EU.

      Asking people to get on with this is like decorating while your house is on fire.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Work the problem?

        @Terry Barnes: The best interest of your country is served by ignoring a referendum result?

        Okay, I'm not saying you're wrong. But please, think through what that would mean, and what it would look like. Specifically, how the 52% would respond to it.

        Actually, I guess I am saying you're wrong, and I devoutly hope I'll be able to say the same thing to Trump voters in a couple more weeks. You lost. Get over it. That's how democracy works.

    2. mix

      Re: Work the problem?

      The thumbs up and down look like the vote results... :D

    3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Work the problem?

      > Seems to me that every company trying to make a buck out of this opportunity should be met with a "no thanks." whilst we buy/use something else

      Here's the thing. When you devalue your currency, the cost of things from foreign suppliers tends to rise as a result.

      If MS didn't allow us to buy in GBP, and instead only sold in USD, we'd still be spending more.

      It's not just opportunism, it's a direct result of the devaluation of the pound, which has come about as the result of businesses having serious concerns about the UK's prospects post-brexit.

      In my book, that's definitely something to dump at the feet of the leave crowd.

      1. Jess

        Re: definitely something to dump at the feet of the leave crowd.

        For sure, I totally agree.

        But of course given a legitimate cause for a price rise, how many companies are going to restrict that rise to just that which is justified?

        1. Tatsky

          Re: definitely something to dump at the feet of the leave crowd.

          What's justified though. If you for a second imagine that not every corporate is evil (bear with me here) it's maybe prudent to assume the pound will fall further and so hedge your bets and increase the prices a little over the currency devaluation. That way if it does fall further you don't have to adjust your prices again, which would be a PR pig.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: definitely something to dump at the feet of the leave crowd.

            No, you make your local currency increase equal the decline in currency so you can say with a straight face that the change is entirely due to currency. Bear in mind that they'll be hoping that their competitors (?) will be pushing through similar increase for the same reason, or using MSFT's higher prices as a price umbrella.

        2. Terry Barnes

          Re: definitely something to dump at the feet of the leave crowd.

          "how many companies are going to restrict that rise to just that which is justified?"

          For a global product it's in their interests to only do what's justified, else you create incentive for people to buy from the wrong market which causes all sorts of channel headaches.

        3. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: definitely something to dump at the feet of the leave crowd.

          >But of course given a legitimate cause for a price rise, how many companies are going to restrict that rise to just that which is justified?

          Do you understand business ? When you hike a price, you sell less, so you usually have to hike the price somewhat more to find the sweetspot ... that is why the hike is so much more than the actual devaluation of the pound.

          Besides, MS is losing money left-right and center ... don't worry, cloudy price hikes across the board/world to compensate for falling cashflow in other business units and the good part, as I told you, you cannot easily migrate from Office 360 ... I have pop corn, need more beer ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        definitely something to dump at the feet of the leave crowd.

        Or perhaps at the feet of the media, political and industrial elites in the UK, and the non-elected and sort of elected elites (e.g. the unelected Junker, etc) who run the EU which created the conditions which led the majority of voters to vote for Brexit.

        You do realize that what the snowflakes in the metro areas like most about the EU, most of the rest of the country isn't included in and doesn't benefit from .....

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Work the problem?

      >Another US conglomerate decides to hike its prices and everyone immediately blames the brexit voters, looking for a scapegoat.

      It's not a matter of blame or scapegoats - it's simply reality. There's little point moaning about it whichever way you voted - either you lost or you got what you asked for! Remainers, BoE, pretty much all importers and even Johnson (in his recently leaked pro-Remain piece) predicted the increased cost of imports, crash of Pound etc .

    5. Tom_

      Re: Work the problem?

      "Seems to me that every company trying to make a buck out of this opportunity should be met with a "no thanks." whilst we buy/use something else."

      Good point. I'll just fish my Amstrad out of the loft. I'm sure that'll be fine for my dev job.

    6. coderguy

      Re: Work the problem?

      Sadly for Linux to be viable, those using the software need to realise there's no such thing as a free lunch and pony up for the feature they need. Use something like bountysource, kickstarter etc... or do it in-house I don't care. Waiting for the 'community' to build something that exactly matches their requirements is never going to happen. /rant.

      1. smot

        Re: Work the problem?

        "Waiting for the 'community' to build something that exactly matches their requirements is never going to happen".

        Funnily enough, all my company's specialist software is written for Windows, yet runs quite happily on the Linux desktop. Firebird replaces MS SQL Server for the database, but even this may not be necessary if MS releases the Linux version in 2017 as proposed.

        So no need to wait in many cases unless the software uses specific Windows hardware drivers.

    7. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Work the problem?

      We basically pay in dollars, plus some kind of "pound tax" ;) So prices keep up with the value of the pound.

      I am happy that we got a good pot of money/credit on our provider just before the pound crashed, so our "server" money wont go down for quite a while... and as we are using Linux servers (not the API) we can migrate to another provider or go onsite if needed.

  5. Mark C 2

    £

    Yes, the £ is taking a hit but wait 12 months until the Euro declines as the EU crumbles and see if MS drop their prices accordingly. My money's on the pound in the long run.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: £

      Since the UK will end up as a "migrant holding station" my betting is on the Euro....

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: £

        "Since the UK will end up as a "migrant holding station" my betting is on the Euro...."

        I think you mean the EU will end up like that.

        Thanks to Brexit, the UK will at least have the option of saying NO once global warming really kicks in throughout the third world, and we get millions of migrants heading to Europe...

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: £

          Thanks to Brexit, the UK will at least have the option of saying NO once global warming really kicks in throughout the third world

          The UK (as a member of the EU) currently controls all non-EU migration into the UK! At the moment the "third-world" is outside of the EU... Brexit merely enables the UK to regain control of migration from EU countries...

    2. Len Silver badge

      Re: £

      We have been hearing about the imminent collapse of the EU for about fifty years now and about the imminent collapse of the Eurozone for 17 years.

      What makes you so sure this time it is for real? Why didn't it happen when the situation looked a lot more precarious than now? Why did it not happen when EU debts and unemployment were rising but economic growth falling? Why would it happen now EU debts and unemployment are falling and economic growth increasing? Why did it not happen when the EU's popularity was at an all-time low? Our referendum has boosted EU popularity elsewhere in the EU and brought the other 27 countries closer together. I would say this is a most unlikely time for the EU to split.

      Currently the likelihood of Northern Ireland and/or Scotland leaving the UK is a lot higher and that will not be Sterling greatest day.

      1. steamnut

        Re: £

        Well, lots of point here....

        First check the current financial positions of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy. I think you will find that they are all very dire indeed. while Brexit (horrible word) is the biggest headline they have escaped scrutiny but their time is coming.

        We also have Deutsche Bank which is creating a lot of problems for Merkle who is trying to make sure she is re-elected next year despite the immigrant (all can come..) backlash.

        And, as for the "harmony" of the 27 remainers we have a small part of Belgium holding up a seven year in the making Canadian trade agreement.

        I think we are better of being able to make out trade agreements where only the UK and the country concerned have to sign. Two signatures instead of 27 - it's a no--brainer.

        Northern Ireland was created by the UK in 1921 to solve a problem started by Cromwell and we really ought to consider re-joining it with the rest of the country.

        Scotland have never forgiven us for the clearances and we should have let me go years ago. At one time they though they would be rich due to the oil money, but they must be quietly glad this didn't leave us now.

        All empires have their day and the EU has passed it's peak. And who would invest in an organisation that has never published an audited set of accounts and it run by elected and unaccountable people who cannot even decide which headquarters to use? Madness, total madness..

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: £

          and those holding up the Trade deal with Canada could do just the same with any BREXIT deal between us and the EU.

          Unless the deal is so bad for us then it might not get sealed for 5 or even 10 years.

          Will there even be an EU left to leave by then?

          1. Nifty

            Re: £

            The inability of 27 countries and for Belgium, extra regions to agree on any kind of benevolent Brexit deal for the UK might be what triggers a 'hard Brexit' into WTO terms.

            By leaving Cameron nearly empty handed on immigration the EU high officialdom actually caused Brexit to happen on a marginal result.

            Next step, same officialdom causes Hard Brexit.

            It's the dozy giant that will come off worse, not the nimble flyweight (or should that be bantamweight) underdog.

            1. Jess

              Re: Forced Hard Brexit

              I don't believe that the EU will refuse to offer a deal that is consistent with the current rules. It would not be in their best interests.

              However, it looks like we will try for some special arrangement which will fall through at the last moment, leaving us looking to rejoin the WTO.

              I believe we are likely to be offered choices to remain in the EEA or/and to remain in the European Customs Union, both subject to the current rules.

              It also wouldn't surprise me if they offered us banking passporting in return for 80% of our current net EU contribution.

              (We need to stay in the customs union if the UK is to remain intact and not have controlled borders within the British Isles).

              Negotiating from a position of weakness is not really a good place to be.

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: £

            Unless the deal is so bad for us then it might not get sealed for 5 or even 10 years.

            If the deal is bad for the UK expect it to be signed ASAP. Remember the terms and conditions attached to joining the EEC back in 1975 - they didn't favour the UK...

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: £

          "First check the current financial positions of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy" - that's hardly news, they have been in die straits for many years.

          "We also have Deutsche Bank" - yes, that is a concern, but the euro is more than just one back.

          "Two signatures instead of 27 - it's a no--brainer." - repeat for every country. Make custom modifications for every single country. Keep it all up to date and... I can see this might be much easier to set up but a potential compliance nightmare for companies.

        3. Gio Ciampa

          Re: £

          "I think we are better of being able to make out trade agreements where only the UK and the country concerned have to sign. Two signatures instead of 27 - it's a no--brainer."

          In your 2-signature utopia, we'd already be signed up to CETA and TTIP and our collective governmental ass would be owed by the mega-corporations in whose favour those "deals" are firmly tipped... though if you're happy to pay the legal fees when they sue us for daring to impose legislation they don't like, then fine - you can pay my share too...

        4. Terry Barnes

          Re: £

          "All empires have their day and the EU has passed it's peak. And who would invest in an organisation that has never published an audited set of accounts and it run by elected and unaccountable people who cannot even decide which headquarters to use? Madness, total madness.."

          You know that none of that is true, right? You're just saying it for comedy effect surely?

          The accounts are audited and the results of the audit are published on the website of the court of auditors. It's an established thing.

          I think you made a typo in your second statement, but nevertheless, people are elected. We elect MEPs and the council is made up of the elected heads of each state.

          As to the headquarters - changing that requires a treaty change, which thanks to the UK now requires referendums to be held to be allowed to pass.

          There was also a plan to make the president electable. Guess which country vetoed it? Starts with 'United'.

          I don't know what's scarier - that you either believe this stuff to be true despite it clearly not being so, or that you expect others to believe it. Which is it?

          1. Ouch

            Re: £

            Another swivel-eyed loon. "Empires" FFS

          2. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: £

            @Terry

            It is pointless, I have tried and tried, linking to reliable sources etc ... you cannot hammer any sense into Brexiters ... hopeless. The worst, a great many British politicians, members of parliament (!) pull this one every day as soon as anybody mentions Brussels or the EU ... "If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it."

            I have linked to encyclopedias, quoted experts ... and Brexiters come with: Farage is right, experts, encyclopedias, https://europa.eu/european-union/law/legal-acts_en are all wrong, Farage, in his infinite wisdom and cowardise, is always right ... if only Brexiters could tell me where Bongo-Bongo land is, I would love to visit the place ...

            Have a pint for the effort!

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £

          well said :)

          I can see the Euro splitting into 2 . One for Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, the rest of the Nordic countries involved and maybe France. The other euro for "Club Med" , and maybe Ireland.

          Unless the primarily Northern EU members wish to be in part of a "transfer union" , and pay off / write off what is mainly Southern European debt the economic malaise of "Club Med" will come to a head with extremist parties being elected.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £

          >First check the current financial positions of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy. I think you will find that they are all very dire indeed.

          True, but if you check the, pre-Euro financial positions of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy and you'll find they've always been very dire indeed. Spain has only been a democracy since 1976, Portugal basically since 1974. Italy's post-war financial history is complex to say the least and Greece has been bankrupt since that unpleasantness with the Persians.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: £

        Wait until DB keels over, then things will start to really get fun.

      3. fruitoftheloon
        Happy

        @Len: Re: £

        Len,

        I get [most] of your points, ooi would you invest in any large German banks at the moment?

        This particular situation is rather new [regretably].

        Cheers,

        Jay.

        1. swarfega

          Re: @Len: £

          Given that the German economy has huge positive trade balanced and positive fiscal balance each year unlike US and UK then absolutely yes, apart fro Deutsche Bank which is like Lehmans :)

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £

        Part of the devaluation of sterling is also due to uncertainty around Scotland's status in the UK .... Sterling will increase in value if both Scotland and NI left the UK, although they'd also go broke of course.) England and Wales will be a lot better off if/when both Scotland and NI leave the UK.

    3. fandom Silver badge

      Re: £

      Absolutely, after all this hike depends on the value of the pound relative to the dollar, so the collapse of the EU will have a lot of influence on it.

      And, lets not forget, the UK sells a lot in the EU, therefore the collapse of the UE will be great for the value of the pound.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: £

        And, lets not forget, the UK sells a lot in the EU, therefore the collapse of the UE will be great for the value of the pound.

        I thought we were supposed to be selling to the rest of the world now, rather than the EU?

        I wish these Brexiters would get their message straight. Next you'll be telling me that the savings on EU membership won't be going to the NHS.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: £

          @Rich 11

          And, lets not forget, the UK sells a lot in the EU, therefore the collapse of the UE will be great for the value of the pound

          And of course we IMPORT a lot of the raw materials to make the things we export (fuel?) so our prices will go back up again, and then the workers will be demanding hefty pay rises so they can still afford to buy fags (imported), 60" TVs (imported), designer trainers (imported) and to go on foreign holidays twice a year. And lo, we're uncompetitive again...Just like the Brexiters predicted (hang on, maybe I got that the wrong way round)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: £

          The UK has a negative trade balance in actual physical goods vs. the EU, as you might imagine.

          I assume you are hoping the banks stay put because they are the only thing keeping the *net* UK trade balance with the EU positive.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £

        >And, lets not forget, the UK sells a lot in the EU, therefore the collapse of the UE will be great for the value of the pound.

        Used to sell. Jaguar Landrover has seen a 25% decline in German sales since Brexit - despite the lower cost - they're not the only British goods being actively boycotted by consumers in the EU now. People forget that most EU citizens are not overly keen on Brits under the age of 80.

        1. Tatsky

          Re: £

          Also ref trade with EU, and the trotted out line "German car manufacturers don't want to stop selling to us, so they will force a deal through".

          People forget though that Germany has a very different historical and cultural setup to the UK. In the UK we say "respect your elders" (even though many don't). In Germany it's a little different, wars and stuff. The Germans still feel a degree of national shame, and they hold their EU membership extremely highly, not like here in the UK where we take no interest in EU policy, but blame EU and Migrants for everything.

          So I wouldn't count on the Germans wanting to maintain brilliant trading relationships. They will be unlikely to overrule the polish/french etc on a deal.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: £

      My money's on the pound in the long run.

      And just what exactly does Johnny Foreigner need GBP for? other than when they visit the UK.

      The fact is that Sterling does not under pin any international market, like the USD is used for the majority of oil transactions... Watch what happens to the US when more oil is transacted in Renminbi, Rubles and Euros, as will happen as the world economy shifts away from the USA...

      Likewise I expect more of our trade to be in currencies other than GBP - my company is likely to price in USD or Euro's because this will give my customers price stability and me the opportunity to convert in to GBP when exchange rates are favourable to me...

      1. DougS Silver badge

        @Roland6 - US dollar & oil

        The tired old petrodollar conspiracy theory that has been shot pretty full of holes lately as oil transactions have been happening more in other currencies and less in USD over the last few years, but the dollar has only strengthened. Sanctions against Russia, Syria and Iran, black market oil sales by ISIS, etc. have all eroded the petrodollar but the US seems to be fine with that.

        Since the US is now self sufficient for energy, there is less reason to care what currency oil transactions are conducted in. In previous decades when the US was buying oil from the Middle East and South America, it was desirable from the standpoint of the US economy to conduct transactions in dollars to eliminate exchange rate disruptions to already volatile oil prices. That's less of an issue today, as we have all the "tight" oil we need to maintain energy independence for a couple decades at least.

        As opposed to traditional oil wells, it is much easier to respond to changes in demand or prices by shutting or opening fracking wells as needed so even if OPEC was able to regain market power they could not create the type of shocks they did in the 70s, at least not in the US.

        Whether or not oil is traded in dollars or in some other currency mutually agreed upon by non-US parties, the US will remain a major trade partner of most countries around the world and the dollar will continue to be a major reserve currency alongside the euro, yen and yuan - and until the yuan is left to float free instead of having its exchange rate dictated by China, it won't fully take its rightful place as a major reserve currency.

    5. Tatsky

      Re: £

      @Mark C 2

      Mmmm'OK. So if the Euro/EU is to collapse then it will more than likely be expedited by the UK leaving the EU. Do you think that a huge collapse 20+ miles offshore from us will not affect us?

      The "I'm alright Jack" attitude around here stinks.

      BTW, since the UK voted to leave the EU there seems to have been a swing in support for the EU in other EU countries. We may well have galvanised support for the EU. So we will be sat here with our british Jams and gruel whilst the europeans are laughing tea cakes, interrailing all over the continent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £

        Tatsky,

        As Brexit was occurring a poll in France had 48% voting for FREXIT, and Rome now has an anti-EU mayor .... hardly a vote of confidence in the EU.

    6. Ouch

      Re: £

      It looks like the swivel-eyed loons are taking an interest in the comments section. Okay Mark is the pound going to bounce back after article 50 is invoked as it is such good news ? Is the euro going to crumble because the UK left ? The MS price hike this time next year is going to look like a bargain. I have savings in the pound and it is fast becoming worthless thanks to you lot !

    7. smot

      Re: £

      "My money's on the pound in the long run."

      And I predict there will be a man on Mars in the long run.

      The damage to the economy from a long-running decline in sterling and leaving the EU will, in the meantime, be extensive and costly.

      If you voted for it, enjoy the increasing cost of living you selected.

      If you didn't - like 62.6% of the electorate - weep.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: £

      The banks are already planning *their* Brexit.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Another US conglomerate decides to hike its prices and everyone immediately blames the brexit voters, looking for a scapegoat."

    Well, the article clearly says that it's currency related. If we're not to see this as Brexit related should we start referring to the sudden-but-entirely-coincidental-devaluation-of-the-pound?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You do realise that the devaluation of the pound was on the cards before Brexit don't you?

      It was going to happen because of all the quantitative easing applied by Gordon I have gold going cheap Brown and the banksters saw the opportunity and took it, in other words Brexit would get the blame rather than the traders.

      1. nematoad Silver badge
        FAIL

        Phew

        "It was going to happen because of all the quantitative easing applied by Gordon I have gold going cheap Brown..."

        By gum you must tell me where you got those 20/20 hindsight glasses from. In case you have been unconscious for the last six years or so here's an update. First there was a coalition government between the Lib Dems and the Tories then the Tories won in 2015. I'll agree that Brown got a lot wrong but to try and blame him for events happening after he's been out of office for six years is stretching it a bit.

        Oh, a final point. Most experts agree that the Bank of England supported by Brown actually took a lot of the sting out of the effects of the meltdown in 2008 with their QE and other matters such as a reduced base rate.

    2. mix

      My point was rather than a collective responsibility for the vote and its repercussions, many are happy to point at and blame the leave voters for every doom-mongering brexit story. We had a split vote, and we now have a split society when at this time, we should be rallying around each other more than ever.

      Blaming someone never solved a problem. (Awaits exception to the rule.) :D

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        True

        "Blaming someone never solved a problem. (Awaits exception to the rule.) :D"

        Having to live through the possible adverse consequences of what many Remain voters still see as a wanton and self-destructive act does give rise to a certain amount of anger and hopelessness. So you can't blame them for feeling let-down, marginalised and angry which probably explains the bitter feeling the two side have for each other.

        The leavers should be magnanimous in victory, after all they did win, but show all the signs of insecurity as shown by the vitriolic abuse heaped on Remainers by the likes of the Mail and Express.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'd love to be rallying around but the chumps who created this freaking wreck keep telling me to shut up and get on with being a loser forever.

      3. heyrick Silver badge

        "we should be rallying around each other more than ever"

        Why? Half the country may well have messed up my life in slow motion.

      4. smot

        "We had a split vote, and we now have a split society when at this time, we should be rallying around each other more than ever."

        We're split because those that didn't vote to leave (62.6% of electorate) are watching as those few that did vote to leave cause havoc on our society.

        I have cut off contact with some of my relatives who voted almost exclusively on the basis of "immigrants out". One even tweeted that he'd decided to vote "leave" because the Eurovision Song Contest always ignores the UK. That's how intellectual their argument was. Oh - did you know that "they" are going to build a mosque that's larger than St. Paul's in the East End?

        Utter f*ckwits. And you expect me to rally together with people like this??

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          We're split because those that didn't vote to leave (62.6% of electorate)

          What a shame that 100% of your 62.6% couldn't be bothered to vote to remain.

          I'd just like to stress again: not voting to leave isn't the same as voting to remain, and it is disingenuous for anyone to imply otherwise.

      5. Triggerfish

        "Blaming someone never solved a problem."

        Oh I dunno I think it at least points to the person who should work towards sorting it out, I mean if someone pisses on your carpet you don't stand there saying well blaming someone never solved a problem, you say "Oi you twat clean it up"

        Where are the leaders of our Brexit 'victory'?

  7. Korev Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Cloud costs

    So if you move all your services to the cloud then $VENDOR can up the price whenever they feel like and you have no choice to pay. If you're running on-prem then you've paid for the hardware and it's not going anywhere, you may have even negotiated support for three or more years on the gear and the OS/hypervisor/whatever to run on it. I wonder how many PHBs will rethink the blind move to the Cloud that many organisations seem to be going for.

    1. Len Silver badge

      Re: Cloud costs

      I am surprised they didn't do it the other way around. Persuade more companies to move to the cloud to escape a higher on-prem price hike.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Cloud costs

      No different to anything else.

      Your Office and Windows licences will likely go up, whether or not you're cloudy.

      It's not cloud that costs, it's reliance on a third-party. If you're reliant on MS software, then MS can dictate any price they like from free to prohibitively-expensive-but-just-enough-to-keep-them-in-business.

      And there's nothing you can do about that except pay up or move elsewhere.

      The only other alternative is to reduce your reliance on third-parties entirely: Use in-house software. Even OpenSource software is still a reliance on a third party to continue supplying it and maintaining it, but at least it's not quite so drastic if they go bust tomorrow.

      I do wonder quite how many companies actually need general purpose PC's running general purpose OS, with general purpose office apps. I think you could increase productivity enormously by making any forms, paperwork, documents, letters, mail merges, etc. be conducted through a limited menu running on a server, that you log into from a thin-client (which could, in fact, be a general purpose PC).

      Back when I did work experience, they were ditching a custom-built software running on a WYSE terminal setup and the transition was horrendous. They went from "You can't put a foot wrong, do something outside your power, misspell your customer's name, or not do things without the necessary prerequisites all in place" to "Just knock up a letter in Word and post it out". Literally from "Press 1 for this, press 2 for this" menus that strictly limited what you could do to what you needed to do, to everyone and his brother having Internet Explorer, Word and potential for major chaos.

      There's a reason that many shops, banks and other large establishments use shop terminals as nothing more than an interface to an "antiquated" terminal- or web-based stock/inventory/invoicing/whatever system.

      If functions DO NOT EXIST then you cannot mis-use them. The things you can do in even basic office macros is just plain scary.

    3. Ozymandias

      Re: Cloud costs

      it's definitely a bit odd on that cloud price hike - even though demand is less elastic than the resource, MS have been using every price tweak to incentivise cloud uptake since they started. Given their new UK datacenters I don't follow the logic of the PR justification or strategy at all. Odd

  8. terry 1

    in that case...

    Let Scotland break away from England, rejoin the EU and then watch MS et al lower their prices.

    (Like any of that is going to happen)

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Just the tip of the Iceberg

    All those who want to go abroad on their Hols next year will in for a rude shock with the surcharges.

    Petrol is already starting to go up.

    Anything we import will become more expensive.

    All because of the weakness of the GBP since 23rd June 2016. Coincidental?

    You choose, just like you choose to vote leave.

    1. regprentice

      Re: Just the tip of the Iceberg

      Tell me about it. Just back from a week in ireland and ive spent the morning weeping quietly while reviewing my online visa bill, not quite as bad as it could have been but only because i spent the holiday assuming £1 = €1.

      Fifty quid for fish and chips by the beach for a family of four....

  10. Doc Ock

    Brexit or no Brexit, the Pound was in for a kicking anyway as we are living beyond our means. If the pound were suddenly to recapture the ground it lost you can be sure that these price rises will not obey the law of gravity for a quite a while, if at all. A kind of price gravitational hysteresis will occur that can be measured in months if not years.

    Heads we win tails you lose.

    1. breakfast
      Mushroom

      Not like this, though, was it?

      All the experts ( in fact anyone with the most basic grasp of how economies work ) said it would be a financially suicidal move, enough people voted for it and surprise the experts turned out to be right.

      We might have lost a few percentage points on the pound, but at least we'd still have had banks and multinational companies operating in the UK. We're going to lose that and it is going to hurt the whole country like hell. I anticipate at best a massive post-brexit kicking from the IMF, quite possibly a Brefault on the national debt and a proper collapse of the pound.

      At which point the Brexiteers will doubtless crow that they have made us all millionaires.

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Microshaft

    Shafting their customers

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This really doesn't make sense. The reason for price increases from tech companies is because the hardware is made in the US (or at least associated with the US as an HQ and is dollar linked) and therefore it costs more to buy it into the UK so the price reflects this.

    Software is priced based upon what people are prepared to pay for it (unless you are an Oracle customer and then it seems it is what they can gauge out of you once you are embedded). There is no extra costs for a licence - the UK business is still paying the same amount as before the Pound fell.

    The cost increase therefore is purely down to lower profits in $ that will appear on the books at the end of the year due to the USD <-> GBP conversion. However if it is easy to just hike prices by double digits and still get the same amount of customers, why not just do a price increase across all territories and then the increase will not need to be so much but you are likely to retain more customers over all but still make the same (or even more profit)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because they are competing with other providers. If they increase a small amount across the board the competitors will jump on it. Where as increasing in one area where the value of the currency has gone down is fine for them as the competitors will / have done the same.

    2. Terry Barnes

      The price rise will be to maintain price equality across the EU market. If they don't do that all EU buyers will flood the UK channel trying to buy these things at a discount compared to Euro pricing. MS won't want that to happen.

      The same will happen with all products and services sold EU wide - GBP pricing will increase to maintain market equality. This was all pointed out, at length, prior to the referendum.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      What don't you understand about 'Margin'?

      That's what it is all about. They have to keep their 90%+ margin on software and services going.

      Wall St will expect it. They won't want their Darling IT stock to fall even $1.

      HP has already stated that its prices are going up. Dell will follow suit.

      If you are going to buy IT kit do it today. not tomorrow, next week or next month because if you doe delay it will cost more, a lot more. I expect 20+% price hikes to be the norm.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The other thing is to stop license tourism or at least limit loses on license tourism (buying cheap licenses in the UK in £ instead of the US in $)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh.......

    "double-digit price hikes looming for cloud and on-premise software."

    FFS. It's "premise*s*"!!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The “unified price adjustment” applies to new orders from commercial, pubic sector and academic customers, or for any business or institution renewing a volume license arrangement."

    So, does Microsoft deal a lot with the pubic sector? Inquiring minds might... not want to know, on second thought...

  15. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Brexit again?

    I am getting seriously pissed off will all this Brexit shit.

    Why does everyone keep saying that the will of the people is final?

    If you meet a drunken friend staggering out of the pub, who's in tears because he's heard his partner has been seeing some Polish guy, and says 'I wish I was dead', do you

    a) try and console him, see if there's any truth in the story (you know there isn't, the Polish guy is a caterer and she's planning a surprise engagement party), and help him home, give him a lot of water to drink and a bucket, and put him to bed.

    or b) say, well, I can't go against his clearly expressed wishes, and give him a length of rope and point out a convenient tree or cliff top, and/or buy him a one-way ticket to Switzerland.

    Theresa May would clearly choose (b)

    The British people were lied to throughout the campaign, by both sides, but particularly by Gove, Johnson and friends. They were not able to make an informed decision. As the weeks go by we can see exactly how bad a disaster any form of Brexit will be for the UK. Time for our politicians (scum that they are on the whole) to get some backbone and say the whole thing is a total balls up and go back to square one. Look to see what the problems REALLY are (and there are problems, listen to the 'experts'), and then see how to address them individually or together without sending the UK economy back to the middle ages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit again? Reply explained.

      while (!vote_went_my_way()) {

      moan();

      do_nothing();

      }

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Brexit again?

      Why is it ok to accept the will of the people when it comes to a general election but not when it comes to Brexit? We are repeatedly lied to in general elections too. Your 'drunken friend' analogy might've seemed pithy when you typed it in, but it's lousy and wrong in so many ways.

      If the outcome of the vote had been instead to remain, what would your reply have been to a leaver who used your 'ignore the will of the people' argument? You, like so many when confronted with a different viewpoint, would've got cross, spiteful and patronising very quickly I suspect.

      For what it's worth, I voted to remain, because it seemed the sensible approach to me, although the EU is far from perfect. But, and I'll emphasise this to help you out: more people voted to leave.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Brexit again?

        >would've got cross, spiteful and patronising very quickly I suspect.

        Spot on, that is exactly how we behave despite the result of the election, because a Brexit is brain-dead, no ifs, buts, or maybes ...

        It is so dumb a move that even the conservatives have realized it is political suicide to implement it, hence Cameron's and Boris' resignations. It is ok now, because nothing much has changed ... it will be a whole different story this time in two years, though, funny that the only politician with enough balls is Theresa May ... I guess she is in the office for something different, got to do with NSA and shit, could not care less for her country she has already repeatably betrayed anyway .... AND it will all get even worse in 5 years, when you will all line up on all fours to vote 90% for a come back into the EU ... the problem will be that all the banks will have left, the automobile and IT industries will have left as well ... never be the same again, will it ?

  16. Jess

    The people only answered a question on the European Union.

    Not the EEA

    Not the European Customs Union

    Not the European Convention on Human Rights

    ....

    This is not the will of the people.

    This is for the political gain of the Tory Party. Nothing more.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: The people only answered a question on the European Union.

      Talk now is of Britain leaving the World - at least the World Bank. Apparently we're not getting value for money from it.

      After that I suppose Britain can leave the United Kingdom, and as a UK resident I say good riddance, although the situation is rather paradoxical - except for viewers in Scotland, who, ironically, will then have the nuclear deterrent. So probably can take over at the swish of a kilt.

  17. phuzz Silver badge
    Coat

    A story combining both Microsoft and brexit? I'm expecting big things from this comment thread.

    >>>> mines the one with a bag of popcorn in the pocket.

  18. Vince

    This change has sod all to do with the pound and everything to do with profiteering. Again.

    I can assume pricing won't fall once the £ > $ value heads back to a better rate...

    Of course not.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    It's very unlike Microsoft to gouge as many clients as it can as often as it can

    So I'm very surprised they decided to raise prices.

    Still, they can charge what they like really, much like any purveyor of high quality goods is able to. Because Microsoft products just keep on getting better and better, and more and more useful, I would almost argue that Microsoft has no choice but to raise prices continually, and it would literally be insulting to us, their eager customers, if prices were dropped. We demand to pay more.

    If anything, I reckon Microsoft is severely undercharging: people will always pay for the best, and Microsoft always delivers a highly unique experience regardless of cost. This is why Linux sadly remains but a barely commented on research project running on a small handful of outdated PCs somewhere in Elbonia. That and because Mr Torvalds has never been any good at putting his head above the parapet and strongly stating: "No - there is an alternative."

    Microsoft invented everything we love about computing, from numbers, to the abacus, to iTunes. So thank you wonderful Microsoft. Thank you. And thank you again.

  20. Archivist

    Market specific pricing

    I thought these software companies (like drug pushers) charged according to what the market will bear. Eg the price in Somalia is not the same as in the US..

    Well they'd better start thinking about the UK market, and what we can afford.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Market specific pricing

      No, software pricing is pretty flat around the world with the exception of VMware which does try to charge more in Europe and in the UK (two different price levels and that was from way before Brexit), and all vendors have in the past charged more in Australia where everyone just seemed to be in complicit agreement that Australians should be charged more (local prices were kept the same as the Aussie $ increased in value and no vendor realigned its pricing downwards, surprise, surprise).

  21. talk_is_cheap

    Re: £

    And Microsoft lowered the cost of all its software back in November 2015 when the Pound hit €1.42 as during 2012 its was only worth around €1.20

  22. Bladeforce

    For the Americans here...

    Brexiteers are people who voted out of Europe and on a whole live outside of London. Remainers voted to stay in and are generally snowflakes from londonistan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For the Americans here...

      And think that going back to the good old days of the 1970s will be wonderful.

      They've conveniently forgotten about the inflation, the strikes, the power cuts and the three day weeks. Oh, and how rubbish British cars were compared to imports.

  23. YARR
    Thumb Down

    MS is of course free to decide it's pricing policy and customers are free to decide whether to buy at the higher price, but a 22% hike is not justified by the currency change alone. Their hardware costs have risen in dollars but their staff and energy costs wont have risen so much. There must be other reasons behind this price hike than just currency changes. The proof will be if they cut prices by 22% when the pound eventually recovers (they wont).

    The problems we are facing (currency devaluation, market uncertainty) are primarily a result of leaving the EEA, not of leaving the EU political union. The problem is we were asked the wrong question. If we were asked if we wanted to stay in the EEA but not in the EU (as we voted in the 1970s) the result would have been a resounding yes - but the globalists don't want us to have the benefit of free trade without them gaining centralised political authority. Since this is a democracy we should get what the people want, not the polarised choice we were given. However given this choice, the majority wisely decided that our political independence is of greater importance long term than short term wealth. I remain resolutely sure of this.

    As the cost of imported goods rise that should encourage people to spend more carefully, and they are more likely to buy local produce since it will be relatively more affordable than before. This had to happen eventually - we could not continue running a trade deficit forever.

  24. hmas

    We're always told IT is no difference to gas or electricity

    So it was only a matter of time before Cloud providers cottoned on and started using currency fluctuations and Base rate changes as an opportunity to hike prices. It's OK though because the prices will drop back down if and when sterling stabilises because that'she exactly what utility companies do.

    *This* is the biggest risk with the cloud. Your provider can impose a 22% unbudgeted increase.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business Case - now can we move to Open Source Sanity?

    The business case needs to be made. This increase should make it easier.

    Let's hope those in a position to do so, in the NHS, are able to make the case that it's much cheaper to support Open Source, and, even with the cost of moving, it will be much cheaper - and better - in the long run to get out of the lock-in.

    Besides, why is the NHS running spyware?

  26. smot

    "Specifically, how the 52% would respond to it."

    Specifically, how the 37.4% would respond to it.

    FTFY.

  27. Scott Millar

    Lock in to the annual commitment price plan and you can avoid this as described here https://www.itrockstars.co.uk/new-loophole-22-microsoft-office-365/

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news - if Microsoft is too expensive... an incentive to use the real thing.

    Surely the more expensive it is, the more chance people can move to proper software, with proper security.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019