Local pricing still competitive on world wide basis: Microsoft

Microsoft claims its New Zealand business software pricing remains competitive with prices elsewhere in the world.

Microsoft claims its New Zealand business software pricing remains competitive with prices elsewhere in the world.

That's despite price increases for business applications and development tools of from 16% to 18% from November 1.

The weak New Zealand currency, which Microsoft claims has fallen 35% against the greenback since its last price increase in August 1998, gets the blame.

“We’re not moving prices up by that margin at all; we’re going about half way,” says Microsoft marketing manager Ross Peat. “In worldwide terms we are still competitively priced.”

Microsoft says it will monitor the exchange rate and if it gets above the high 40s to the US dollar, it will cut its prices.

Fellow US software companies Computer Associates and Citrix are not following suit.

Citrix New Zealand business development manager Andrew Cashmore says Citrix will not be lifting prits prices.

And Computer Associates New Zealand says it is holding steady on pricing and will reassess the situation in another three months. New Zealand managing director Richard Collins says high-end customers have fixed term contracts and are protected from price rises.

Microsoft's Peat says as a subsidiary of a multi-national company, Microsoft New Zealand is obliged to cover the costs involved in software development, which have to be absorbed into prices. As a subsidiary, Microsoft New Zealand buys in New Zealand dollars. “We’re a software company, not a finance company so we don’t take foreign cover.”

Consumer and operating systems software prices won’t increase until January 1 next year, when they're likely to go up about 10%.

Customers with fixed enterprise agreements, of which there are about 100 in New Zealand, will not be affected by the change.

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