Now is a good time for thousands of UK-based organisations to review their options for buying and renewing Microsoft product licenses, says IT provider Softcat. Microsoft today announced that in two months’ time, on 1 July 2012, it will increase the UK prices of all of its products by an average of 29%. The change will affect corporate and government customers, but not customers in the education sector.
This change will bring UK volume licensing prices in line with those elsewhere in Europe. Over the years, changes in exchange rates have benefited the British pound, giving UK-based organisations significantly more buying power than others. Microsoft’s price increase will now redress the balance, so that the pricing is more consistent throughout the region.
“The 29% average price increase may take some by surprise, but it is just the net effect of a number of years’ exchange rate fluctuations,” explained Richard Lamacraft, a Microsoft specialist at Softcat. “Microsoft adjusts its pricing less often than other vendors, which is why people will notice this increase.”
What can organisations do to protect themselves from the price increase? Softcat is advising that its customers contact their account managers to review their options.
“The increase will affect different organisations in different ways,” said Mr Lamacraft. “There are many variables that determine the best course of action. For some customers, it will make sense to buy some products before 1 July. Others may find they can benefit from agreements that lock their prices for three years. And others may find, after evaluating their needs and objectives, that they don’t need to take any action at all.
“In any case, it’s better to explore the options than to risk making a costly mistake. That’s why we are inviting our customers to call us and talk it through".