Canada and Europe hit with 30% increase.
A review of prices for Microsoft’s cloud productivity suite, Office 365, showed that businesses in Canada and Europe were paying 30 percent more than US companies (see table at bottom of article).
Canadian companies, which were believed to use the same data centres as their US counterparts, paid 26 percent more. EU countries and Japan paid a 30 percent premium.
Prices in the UK were the closest to the US with a 7 percent average increase.
No country was worse off than Australia, where businesses paid at least 70 percent more for enterprise licenses than US businesses.
The entry-level enterprise plan (E1) cost US$10 per user per month in the US compared to US$17 (A$15.70) per user per month in Australia, an increase of 70 percent.
The Australian price was US$1 more than the price charged in the US for the next plan, E2, at US$16 per user per month. Australian businesses paid US$27.10 (A$25.10) for the E2 plan.
Businesses in Singapore paid the same rates as US businesses even though they received their services from the same Singaporean data centre used by Australian businesses.
“Many factors determine Microsoft’s recommended retail prices locally, including, but not limited to, the size of the market, taxes, government regulations and costs,” said a Microsoft spokesman, responding to a request for comment.
“It is difficult to make a straight pricing comparison between countries given that the conditions vary between markets. In Australia, we also go to market with partners who add significant value to our local customers, such as localised customer service and support.”
Microsoft gave the dominant telco provider in Australia, Telstra, an exclusive license to sell Office 365 to businesses with under 125 seats. It is believed that Australia is the only country with this type of exclusive arrangement where all small business sales must go through one provider.
The prices of plans varied substantially among 10 countries sampled from the nearly 50 where Microsoft’s cloud service was sold. The Australian price for the E3 plan was the highest variation at 80 percent above the US price.
The next most expensive was New Zealand with an average 34 percent rise.