UK customers to lose out in Microsoft licensing change

Changes to Microsoft's European volume-licensing pricing structure in the summer will see UK customers likely to pay more, according to the software maker

Microsoft plans to make changes to its volume-licensing fees, meaning UK customers are likely to pay more as prices are harmonised across Europe.

The pricing changes will come in on 1 July, the company said in an email to resellers and partners on Thursday. The overhaul will adjust rates to reflect changes in exchange rates between the euro and other European currencies.

"In the UK, based on prevailing currency rates, we anticipate some adjustment in British pound prices for software licenses sold through our volume licensing programmes," Microsoft said in the email, seen by ZDNet UK. "The exact extent of any price changes in July will be determined by future exchange rates between the British pound and euro."

Resellers and partners will get details of the rate changes in June, it added. However, British customers are expected to be worse off due to the pound's long-term fall in value against the euro.

"Prices are likely to rise in the UK," a Microsoft spokesman told ZDNet UK. "Hopefully, for the large majority of customers, [the price rise] will be relatively small."

Scandinavian countries will not be overly affected by the changes, and Swiss volume licenses will decrease in price, he predicted.

The British government is a major UK customer for Microsoft, and the software maker is currently negotiating contractual terms and conditions with the Cabinet Office, ZDNet UK understands.

Microsoft does not plan to extend the overhaul to individual licenses sold through retailers, it said in a statement on Friday.

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