If Australian prices for Microsoft products weren't fair, customers wouldn't buy those products because there is now a wide range of alternatives available in the market, according to Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow.
The cost of Microsoft's offerings in Australia are often higher compared with other countries, and the IT vendor does not deny that fact.
At the IT pricing inquiry parliamentary hearing on Friday, Marlow clarified that Microsoft does not have a standard global price for its products, and local pricing is decided by a number of factors. These include cost structure, customer perception, and most importantly, competition in the market, according to Marlow.
"I have been working for the company for 17 years, and I would say it's the most competitive time for Microsoft that I have ever experienced," she said. "So ultimately, our customers have choice, and at the end of the day, if we priced our products too high, then our customers would vote with their wallets and we would see our sales decline."
Marlow also noted that Microsoft sells a lot of its products through its channel network, and its partners determine the final pricing of products. But when confronted about Microsoft charging Australian channel partners more for its products, she said that partners have a choice to work with other vendors.
"We are competing lawfully to win our customers' business every day," Marlow said.
According to Marlow, Microsoft will consider different pricing structures as it executes on its cloud strategy. The company, like Adobe, is hoping to encourage customer adoption of its cloud subscription-based services, which offer lower prices compared to its boxed and downloadable products.