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Microsoft Raises UK Prices By a Third and Can't Rule Out Future Hikes 185

New submitter DerekduPreez writes "Microsoft has revealed that it will increase volume licencing prices in the UK by an average of 29 percent to adjust for the 'sustained currency differences between European countries'. UK businesses have until 1st July to place their orders under the current prices before the changes take effect. Microsoft claims that because of sustained differences between the British Pound and the Euro, price spikes are necessary to maintain consistency across the region. Microsoft also confirmed that it could not rule out future increases, as it will continue to monitor currency movements and may make further adjustments if there are large fluctuations."
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Microsoft Raises UK Prices By a Third and Can't Rule Out Future Hikes

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  • This is a pretty obscure outcome of the recent Quantitative Easing of the Fed and the Bank of England, and a little confusing as Microsoft is a US company.

    You have to remember that Microsoft's main European headquarters is in Dublin in Ireland, and hence operates in Euros. The quantitative easing of the pound means that the UK goods become cheaper to export, and that conversely, it becomes more expensive for UK-ians to import good from abroad. In this case, it has become 33% more expensive for them to import MS software from Ireland.

    Which raises the question: Why should Microsoft continue to choose Dublin as their main European base of operations if this is the kind of price hikes they will be forced to impose on perhaps their single largest European market? Low corporation tax rates? Not if that treaty gets passed sunshine.

    This is less a problem for Microsoft--who can move around--than it is for Ireland, which is rapidly becoming unattractive to high tech industries who, due to the falling US and UK currencies, are seeing their costs soar in Dublin. (By the way, this is occurring in the midst of a period of debt induced stagflation in Ireland as well.) The problem is only going to get worse the longer the ECB and Bundesbank keep putting their banking system before the citizens of the continent.

    Microsoft aren't stupid, and as long as they can have a low cost, english speaking centre, with a currency pegged or floating steadily alongside Sterling, they will stay in Dublin. If they can only get an expensive, high tax centre pegged to the Deutschmark, they'll just move to London, or York, or whatever. The same goes for all the other high tech industries in Ireland. Vint Cerf's words this week explain that Ireland still has potential, despite government indifference towards the IT sector; but I don't think it has any under the euro.

    This is just yet another economic case study which convinces me that Ireland needs to vote No on the 31st of this month, get the hell out of the Euro as fast as possible, and balance its budget in one fell swoop THIS YEAR. No more excuses.

    (P.S. I believe in the EU, not the Euro.)

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Thursday May 03, 2012 @09:36AM (#39877621)

    the U.S. dollar has been growing against the pound

    Not sure what you mean by growing, I see a weakening US dollar. But we all know that - the Fed keeps printing them, how can the US dollar not get weaker? And your graph supports this. So if the US dollar gets weaker the answer is to charge more pounds? This is just a cash grab by Microsoft with some currency exchange gloss to hide the fact that they're being greedy suckers, they see more value in holding pounds than dollars, and hardly anyone bothers to take 30 secs to understand exchange rates properly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2012 @09:50AM (#39877733)

    If dissent is not permitted, how long do you think it will be before the secret police show up to take you away?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2012 @10:11AM (#39877873)
    Microsoft is widely misunderstood. People think Microsoft is a software company that is sometimes abusive. That's wrong. Microsoft is an abuse company that uses software to deliver abuse.

    Just my opinion, but I'm not the only one who thinks that way.
  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @10:56AM (#39878389)

    All socialism fails

    Correct, however you need to head to the library and do some reading on what socialism actually is (unless the library is too 'socialist' for you).

    Europe, Canada etc. are not socialist nations. Do they have social programs for their citizens? Yes. However, socialism is defined as state ownership of enterprises. A good example of a socialst nation is Cuba - The state owns all means of production. Cuba is failing, which is why they are moving away from socialism.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."