Earlier last year Microsoft announced that they would be increasing UK prices in July 2012 across all their volume licensing programs, which included the SPLA licenses used by hosting providers to provide services such as Hosted Exchange, Hosted Desktops and Servers.
These pricing changes were due to take effect on the 1st July 2012, however after listening to feedback from the hosting community, Microsoft at the last minute agreed to defer what was to be an average 33.4% increase until January 2013.
Late in 2012 Microsoft confirmed to it’s partners and clients that this change would still go ahead and become effective from the 1st January 2013 and would apply to both existing, and new clients with immediate effect. Details of the increases were discussed at a meeting held recently with Microsoft’s partners which confirmed that although the increase is to go ahead, the actual size of the increase has been reduced to an average of 25.9% from the original 33.4% which again shows the company has listened to the concerns and feedback of its partners.
So why is the increase required?
Why Microsoft has done this, it’s to bring the UK into line with the pricing seen in Euro’s throughout EU, as to date the UK has been on average around 30 percent cheaper than mainland Europe, for no particular reason other than currency fluctuation. Microsoft is seeking to bring all of Europe into line with more consistent pricing, and as an example of this it is believed that prices in Switzerland will actually decrease slightly.
Although first reaction to a price increase is no doubt negative, it is also fair to say that in the UK we have been benefiting from much lower pricing for several years, and this alignment was at some point inevitable. In addition, Microsoft, in general, alters its pricing less frequently and less radically than many other vendors which makes this appear a more immediate and direct hit.
So whats happens next?
Now the revised pricing for January is released, we will be looking at what we can do to minimise the impact of the new prices for our customers. Our valued customers will still benefit from some of the most comprehensive hosted services available in the UK for a very competitive price coupled with excellent customer support.
Customers who have any questions about the price increases should in the first instance speak to their account manager.