Phew! Brits escape Azure price hikes as rest of world bears the brunt

Microsoft shows the people of Blighty some cloudy love

Blighty has dodged the price hike bullet that Microsoft is set to fire into Europe and Australia, which will see customers paying more for Azure cloud services - much more, in fact.

As revealed this morning, appreciation of the US dollar compared to the Euro and the Aussie dollar will lead to price jumps of eleven and 26 per cent respectively in those regions from 1 August.

But Redmond has decided to spare the people of Blighty more hardship, unlike the huge licensing hike in 2013 when it aligned boxed software licensing pricing across Europe to the Euro.

“We always evaluate current market conditions, the increased product value for a customer, customer deployment scenarios and other factors when determining pricing,” said a Microsoft mouthpiece in a statement.

We are told the “price for Azure in the UK will be unaffected”, likely because the differential between the Brit Pound the US dollar is up around nine per cent on a year ago, and not as wide as in other regions.

Customers are used to coughing up less for cloud stuff, given the competition for bums on seats from the likes of AWS, Google and typically Microsoft.

A spokesman at AWS told us it is not raising prices anywhere, and recently initiated its 49th reduction since launching the fluffy white stuff.

The currency issue is a bitter pill for US tech vendors to swallow and so far this year the price of servers has risen by 25 per cent in Euros.

HP et al have all reacted to the problem. PC prices have risen by around 15 per cent. On the software side, the likes of VMware have tweaked their prices.

Gartner has reduced its spending forecast for 2015 on two occasions so far due the currency situation.

Last week, research director John Lovelock told us average sales prices are not up, despite the price increases, because customers are altering procurement plans.

“Where prices have gone up, end users have substituted down and overall bought less, and fewer units have shipped.”

The Gartner beancounter said the currency effects will be felt in Europe through 2017, but “most price increases will be in place by the end of this year, allowing price stability through 2016 and prices declining back to traditional level starting in 2017.” ®

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