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Microsoft Businesses Cloud EU

Microsoft Raises UK Cloud, Software Prices 22% After Brexit-Fuelled Pound Drop (techweekeurope.co.uk) 214

Reader Mickeycaskill writes: Microsoft is to substantially increase its prices for software and cloud services prices offered in British pounds in order to accommodate the sharp drop in the currency against the US dollar in recent weeks. Beginning in January 2017 on-premises enterprise software prices will go up by 13 percent and most enterprise cloud prices will increase by 22 percent, bringing them into line with euro prices. Microsoft said it isn't planning to change its prices for consumer software and cloud services. The value of the pound has fallen by about 18 percent since the EU referendum on 23 June.
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Microsoft Raises UK Cloud, Software Prices 22% After Brexit-Fuelled Pound Drop

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  • Not just bitcoin (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @02:22PM (#53141109) Journal
    Apparently these things happen even with much larger volume fiat currencies as well.
    • All currencies are fiat currencies. I mean seriously - do you not understand how gold standards work? It's not like there is a "free market" for gold. It's called a gold standard because a governing authority agrees to say a particular currency is worth X amount of gold.

      Further, gold standards have nothing to do with internal economics. Gold standard or not, banking, credit creation, sovereign creation, and taxation works the same. A gold standard simply restricts exchange rates so that one country can't

      • As someone else pointed out, the price of gold actually is set on a free market, if you fixed your currency against a gram of gold that would automatically determine the value vs other currencies.

        But more to the point, wth does bitcoin have to do with gold?
        • But more to the point, wth does bitcoin have to do with gold?

          It's the same idea. People think gold standard is great because it's a relatively fixed amount of mineral to peg your currency against which gives it a fixed volume of currency. Bitcoin has the same property but created mathematically / limited by processing power available.

          One of the problems of course is that having a fixed amount of currency limits the size of your economy, which is a bad thing. But the gold standard is an easy concept to understand, so people like it.

      • It's not like there is a "free market" for gold.

        Yes there is.

        It's called a gold standard because a governing authority agrees to say a particular currency is worth X amount of gold.

        Not a single country in the world does this. Zero. There is no "gold standard".

        The value of the dollar is based on faith that people in power will continue to be competent and prudent.

        The value of gold is based on faith the many people will continue to be greedy and selfish.

        Which is a better bet?

        • by caseih ( 160668 )

          You were misreading the OP's tenses. There once was a gold standard. And he was saying that under the gold standard, when it was in place, everyone agreed to say a particular currency is worth X amount of gold. Under such a system, the value of the gold is not under a free market, or else the currency would be too.

  • Only enterprise software, and not consumer software and cloud services? I think maybe Brexit is a pretense here.

    • Well they were giving Windows 10 away, so it must be worth nothing.
    • Lets arbitrage the fuck out of them. British versions will just need a few extra 'u's 'i's and 'e's deleted after grey market American import.

      • Lets arbitrage the fuck out of them.

        This move doesn't create an opportunity for arbitrage. It removes it.

        Here is a free lesson in international marketing:
        Q: How do you price an American product for the British market?
        A: You change the dollar sign to a pound sign.

        This simple rule of thumb has been true for at least 30 years.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2016 @03:27PM (#53141729)

      Every time a brexiter in denial with "oh they're just using brexit as an excuse".

      No, you dumb bastard - if the GBP is worth 20% less then business either have to absorb a ~20% loss or increase prices. There's no conspiracy here. There's no clever accounting being hidden you by MAINSTREAM MEDIA LIES to make it look like the GBP has not seriously lost value when actually it hasn't. The fact is that the currency is no so useful atm. Just as investment in the UK in general is now not so attractive, not least because of a huge amount of uncertainty that investors hate - all that's really worth doing is buying chunks of UK business on the cheap, like our loss of our best technology asset, ARM.

      It might be worth doing in the consumer sector because 1) they're facing serious competition atm 2) it's a smaller market anyway. But other business can't do this. They either run on much smaller margins, or they don't have huge reserves to release the pain more slowly. Sure, Carney has been making excellent use of public money to buffer things for now - his was the "emergency budget" that took place entirely within the executive sphere - but eventually he is going to run out of other people's money, to quote the old bat, and QE would just devalue the pound further.

      I run a small business, but I'm already way worse off because everything I import costs a fuck-ton more and I can't afford to just bump prices up accordingly when my larger competitors already have huge warehouses of stock and have the power of scale to have negotiated pricing agreements. All the OMG RED TAPE that supposedly comes from Brussels is a myth, and what few anti-small-business legislation exists is hardly likely to be removed by the prevent government, whose ear is deaf to all but the largest enterprises.

      Brexit is mostly a democratic expression of xenophobia that, because of no minimum turnout requirements, means the majority has to suffer heavily thanks to a third of the country being thick.

      Mind you, I could be way worse off. Those northern working class voters who thought this would be to their advantage are going to be in for a hell of a ride.

      • I wonder if you would be protesting the turnout requirements if the vote had gone the other way?
      • Re:Something's fishy (Score:5, Informative)

        by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @04:33PM (#53142189)
        Okay, your imports cost more, so you should buy British stuff to have it cost the same. As an added bonus, your product will be cheaper than imports, making you more competitive......
        • Re:Something's fishy (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2016 @07:14PM (#53143107)

          I must add that this is an excellent point. Despite higher costs for imported raw materials, the drop in Sterling is working wonders for the UK manufacturing sector. Politicians on the left and right have argued and clamoured for a "rebalancing of the economy", i.e. boosting manufacturing; now they have it. Don't believe me? Read the UK's latest PMI report (https://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/f55855e5e87b4e9dadc0e3cbea1c285f). To quote: "The weak sterling exchange rate remained the prime growth engine, driving higher new orders from Asia, Europe, the USA and a number of emerging markets."

          Besides, those of us who read the financial press (as I do) will be well aware the central banks have long complained of needing a currency devaluation and a bit more inflation to help western economies. Britain has, quite inadvertently, achieved precisely this.

          Rule Britannia? :-)

          • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

            Rule Britannia? :-)

            You've still made the most hilarious self-inflicted wound that a democracy has made on itself in the modern era. I'm looking forward to the negotiations with the EU where you think you can have tariff-free trade without labour movement. That's going to be fucking popcorn time.

            Enjoy your blissful, white, foreigner-free country.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            We haven't seen the shrinkage really get going yet. Next month when Nissan announces that it will be running down Sunderland and moving new production elsewhere will be the first major causality, followed by various banks. The short term boost from the weak Pound won't help when the stuff simply isn't being made here any more.

            Don't forget though that rising inflation counters a lot of that growth. Unless wages are going to start rising much faster than they have been, what little growth there is will only h

        • by mjwx ( 966435 )

          Okay, your imports cost more, so you should buy British stuff to have it cost the same. As an added bonus, your product will be cheaper than imports, making you more competitive......

          Erm, you should have just wrote "I know nothing about economics" because that is effectively what you said.

          This is my second favourite incorrect argument.

          It is incorrect because new industries do not spring up just because things become more expensive due to the logistics and economies of scale. When you invest in new infrastructure you need a reasonable expectation you will get a return on your investment, selling low margin/high volume items exclusively to an impoverished nation is not conducive to

      • I run a small business, but I'm already way worse off because everything I import costs a fuck-ton more and I can't afford to just bump prices up accordingly when my larger competitors already have huge warehouses of stock and have the power of scale to have negotiated pricing agreements. All the OMG RED TAPE that supposedly comes from Brussels is a myth, and what few anti-small-business legislation exists is hardly likely to be removed by the prevent government, whose ear is deaf to all but the largest enterprises.

        Just as a counterpoint, as someone who also runs small businesses, but in my case tech-based ones that import very little but export information products and services, I have almost exactly the opposite experience.

        The pound had been propped up for a long time and a lot of economists were saying it was overvalued long before Brexit was on the radar. Dropping it back to a more realistic level has already caused a big boost for our sales to customers over in continental Europe and beyond. It's dropped further

      • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

        I run a small business, but I'm already way worse off because everything I import costs a fuck-ton more and I can't afford to just bump prices up accordingly when my larger competitors already have huge warehouses of stock and have the power of scale to have negotiated pricing agreements.

        My business is doing a lot better because we export services rather than import.

        All the OMG RED TAPE that supposedly comes from Brussels is a myth

        You have absolutely no idea how much crap like the cookie policy cost massive

      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        When Britain joined the EU there were a few "bumps" along the way. A few sacrifices had to be made (e.g. good paying manufacturing jobs), and some "economic realignment" had to occur. The same is true of Brexit. But overall it makes Britain a more affordable destination for labor an manufacturing. Just wait, the leisure industry will also boom.

        • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @11:56PM (#53144215)

          Have you forgotten the IMF ballout, the Winter of Discontent and later Maggie going begging for a rebate because Britain was the "sick man of Europe"? We were shagged before we joined the EEC, and I hope leaving it's successor doesn't take us back to those dark days.

          Talking of this recent event bringing back manufacturing jobs is bullshit that some politicians -- especially on the left -- like to peddle, but in fact if manufacturing comes back it will more likely be automated. Anyway, this depreciation doesnt allow us to compete with China's labour costs, or any of its competitors now that it is getting too expensive. When the pound dropped after the 2008 financial crises, the relative side of our trade gap didn't shrink... it's not price that's preventing people buying our products.

          If half the international banking industry leaves then we'll end up with a gap in governement finances that will cause them to make cuts more painful than anything George Osbourne did in the last six years, I can guarantee that a boom in exports won't cover this difference. And as the economy contracts the size of the interest payments on the goverment's debts will become the fifth biggest expense... finance industry wins again.

        • But overall it makes Britain a more affordable destination for labor an manufacturing.

          How? If we start doing well economically then the pound will rise and that will wipe out the saving. The only way to keep economical is to keep doing badly or simply scrap environmental regulations and kill all of our rivers all over again.

      • by Malc ( 1751 )

        Oh stop with the Project Fear (TM) already. Just be more positive.

        • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
          I will personally be way more positive about it once England and Wales fuck off on their own and Scotland and NI are out of the UK. Once that happens, I honestly couldn't give a fuck what the "UK" does.
          • by Malc ( 1751 )

            As a Londoner, I'd be very happy if Sadiq leads us out with you (and maybe Bristol and Manchester will get the idea too), and let the rest of England fester in their poverty and bigotry.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      Yes, any time something goes wrong, blame Brexit

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @02:38PM (#53141277)
    That will sure punish the Brits for wanting to preserve their own sovereignty. Any indication that you resist the New World Order must be punished. It would serve them right if they moved to Linux and open source solutions wherever they could and ended up paying Microsoft a lot less rather than a lot more.
    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @02:43PM (#53141323) Journal

      What exactly does "sovereignty" mean here? Britain is literally sending out feelers all over the world looking for trade deals that will, now wait for it, limit its sovereignty. That is the nature of treaties.

      • by OhPlz ( 168413 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @03:06PM (#53141535)

        The point is that Britain is agreeing to those trade deals. The treaties are not agreed upon by the EU and forced onto Britain. Being able to negotiate your own treaties is part of being sovereign.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          As demonstrated with the Canadian trade deal, they have to be unanimous, so a trade deal at the EU level could only be 'forced' onto the UK if the UK had already agreed to it.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo.world3@net> on Tuesday October 25, 2016 @02:43AM (#53144585) Homepage

          We don't really have much choice. We are going to have to do deals with bigger countries and groups like the US and EU, or face economic ruin. If they say jump, we can only ask how high or fall back to WTO rules and suffer the economic consequences.

          Gibraltar is also likely to lose its sovereignty and become jointly run by Spain. There is no other way, short of independence perhaps as part of Scotland (!), that they can save their economy which is entirely reliant on there being an open border. Spain can simply refuse to agree to any kind of UK-EU trade deal unless they get Gibraltar, and the UK government will throw them under the bus.

          Leaving the EU has massively reduced our bargaining power and attractiveness. Watch as companies pull out, starting with Nissan next month. In practical terms we have much less power than we did previously, and what we gained is mostly useless because e.g. what kind of a choice is kicking our Johnny Foreigner vs. economic ruin?

          • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

            and the UK government will throw them under the bus.

            It's getting crowded under that bus, what with Scotland and NI already being there.

        • by Xest ( 935314 )

          All trade deals that had any impact on British sovereignty had to be agreed by Britain anyway - see the current CETA debacle as an example, where one tiny little irrelevant region in Europe can crush an entire treaty.

          So your argument is incorrect, there's no difference in the decrease in sovereignty, Britain was always part of negotiations and acceptance anyway, the difference now is we're negotiating from a much weaker starting point - we only have 65million people instead of 580million people. That necess

        • The treaties are not agreed upon by the EU and forced onto Britain.

          Ok wise guy, name one trade deal forced on to Britain by the EU. You know one we didn't agree to but got anyway. (a clue: it didn't happen because trade deals have to be unanimous).

          Being able to negotiate your own treaties is part of being sovereign.

          We had trade negotiators in the EU. We were part of the negotiations.

          So basically both major parts of your premise are false.

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @02:47PM (#53141361)

      The word "sovereignty" is like "freedom". People throw around those words as if they can do anything they want. Reality says you still have to work with your peers, it's just up to you to judge the best way to do it (and to accept the consequences when things start to suck).

      • Yes we have the freedom to re-negotiate the same trade restrictions we had before we gave up the trade restrictions. Because if there's one thing we don't like it's unelected people telling us what to do!

        Happy and glorious
        Long to reign over us
        God save The Queen!

    • And if they instead lowered the price, would you say "Microsoft is trying to push people to use their services by discounting them and latter increasing them, when everyone is too far invested?"

    • Because Microsoft absolutely isn't using Brexit as an excuse to hike prices.

    • Actually, the drop in the pound sterling is good news for the Brits, bad news for people like the Indians where their jobs are being offshored to. If Britain can get the pound drop to where it equals, say, 10 rupees, they would have the knickers of India in a twist
  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @02:41PM (#53141297) Journal

    You stupid USians don't know what's going to hit you when Microsoft finds out that you illegally broke away from the EU 240 years ago!

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @02:52PM (#53141401)
    All they're doing is following the exchange rate for the British pound.
    • Yep, you can pretty much expect all companies that haven't already done this to follow. (many already have)
    • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

      All they're doing is following the exchange rate for the British pound.

      And I have some cheap oceanfront property in Nebraska I'm selling at a cheap rate. You don't see Microsoft (or any other company) announcing price cuts when a currency surges in value.

      • Actually yes they do announce price cuts when currency surges in Value. They regularly adjust because of exchange rates, the only thing that makes this one stand out is the size of the adjustment. In Australia we regularly have both price rises and price cuts depending on current exchange rates.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    But then when the money gains back value, the prices don't drop

  • It is the British pound that lost value.

    Notice how companies are quick to raise prices, but are very slow to reduce the prices when currency is strong (hint: Switzerland).

    Not all is negative in this: UK may consider switching to OS software in the long term.

    • So they can have a British distro of Linux - Brinux. Or, since it starts w/ B, they could start a company in Berkshire (not sure if there is any 'Berkeley' in England), and appropriate the BSD name. Take either FreeBSD/TrueOS or OpenBSD and base a BSD Unix on that, and give it a total UKian (British equivalent of USian) flavour (British for 'flavor')
  • Yet another practical reason to stop paying Microsoft! There is a plethora of excellent and transparent FOSS, which is growing every day. Because it is open-source and free, instead of continually reinventing the bicycle people can build new and more useful applications on top of infrastructure that already exists and can be freely reused. (As in the Unix software tools philosophy).

    • Nice. Currently actually paying Amazon, but where do I sign up for the excellent and transparent FOSS cloud? Wouldn't want to reinvent the bicycle.
  • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @06:31PM (#53142859) Journal

    I don't know, calling this "brexit" when it's not even happening is ridiculous. The are a couple of issues here. One, the pound has been overvalued for quite a while now, the uncertainty brought about recently has only sought to restore the pound to a more accurate valuation (although some economists feel that the valuation is higher than it should be still).

    Unfortunately, the issue with uncertainty isn't brexit, but the result of politicians that aren't actually acting. The government is not doing a good job at showing certainty, article 50 hasn't even been executed by our government, so we and everyone else don't even know if we're even really leaving the EU or not. Brexit is simply leaving the EU and there is no progress since the elections, we're just stuck in limbo while politicians do anything but act. At this point, our politicians need to either start acting and declare we're staying in the EU or leaving, otherwise we're just going to ruin ourselves by staying in this stupid limbo.

  • This is funny, as more and more is clear the Pro-Brexit campaign was lying their ass off. the first thing they did after they won was break their big promise of spending billions of pounds on care. And now a lot of people who find out the thruth about being lied to by the Pro-brexit people are getting angry.. Funny thing is, they want a new round for voting, but that's being nixed.
    Brexit was never good for anyone, expect the people who ran the campaign..

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