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By | Paul Kunert 16th February 2012 15:38

Microsoft licensing hike sparks UK piracy, bankruptcy fears

Switch to euro prices will smash Blighty's biz, warns reseller

Reseller NCI Technologies has urged Microsoft to shelve the planned pricing overhaul that could see UK customers paying between 20 to 35 per cent more for volume licences.

Redmond will align volume licence pricing in the EU - except for academic programmes - to the euro currency from 1 July in a bid to drive some consistency across the region, but this will lighten the pockets of customers that buy in British pounds.

Microsoft has already played down the impact, stating that a single digit rise is on the cards, but this was knocked down by large-account resellers. NCI Technologies has now joined the chorus.

In a company blog Andy Trish, boss of the Cornish-based dealer, said the changes could not come at a worse time with the UK economy struggling to stave off another recession.

"Attending a webcast from my favourite vendor today (15 February) left me slightly stunned as to the timing of their latest announcement and if they really are making decisions that will not cause more harm to their company than good," he said.

Trish claimed Microsoft channel partnerships worked because the software goliath takes feedback on board: "Microsoft knows if we say something is wrong we can prove it and normally offers a solution. I have no solution to their latest decision other than 'don’t do it'."

Based on the sterling-euro exchange rate at the end of January, LARs told The Reg that prices will rise by 20 per cent, but NCI estimates that a hike could be even steeper - up by as much as 35 per cent, said Trish.

"My American friends need not worry - no changes for you (that I am aware of) - and my Swiss friends, well you are actually going to see a significant price drop if all goes to plan. Unfortunately I don’t have any Swiss friends so I can’t celebrate with you."

The result of the increase will be to "speed up the process of UK businesses folding", secondly it will "promote piracy" and finally "cause grief to the staff at Microsoft UK who do a fantastic job but have to follow the company line", said Trish.

So far Microsoft LARs Softcat and Computacenter have openly stated that prices will rise but Equanet said on its corporate blog that it estimates the rise to be nearer to 20 per cent.

"Exact pricing will be published by Microsoft on 1 June, 30 days prior to the change," the Dixons-owned reseller said. ®

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