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back to article Microsoft will fiddle with prices as euro burns, UK biz fears

Microsoft's partners are braced for further changes in volume pricing this year as the euro flutters wildly in the economic storm. The Windows 8 maker tore up its licensing price list and rewrote it in euros for a 1 July Europe-wide relaunch. At the current exchange rate with the pound sterling, UK customers will pay on average …

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Expert opinion

"But as Greece inches towards defaulting on its bailout terms" - is this your conclusion then or have you got direct access to the God of All Predictions?

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Re: Expert opinion

You'd have to be pretty brave to bet against a Greek default right now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Expert opinion

Or an EU politician.

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Anonymous Coward

"pretty brave to bet against a Greek default right now."

Maybe so, but that;s how the lovely people in the CIty make their money - by taking money off fools who think the people in the CIty are going to make money for their "investors" (or "muppets" as the occasional honest City spiv calls them).

Go have a read about credit default swaps.

And don't forget, we the taxpayer are not bailing out Greece, we are bailing out the banksters who colluded with Goldman Sachs in lending far more to Greece than was sensible for either banksters or Greece (and getting paid megadosh up front for that lending).

Go look up "credit default swap", and if you like what you find, try "hypothecation" and "rehypothecation" while you're at it.

Austerity for the 99%

Megadosh for the 1%

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Re: Expert opinion

>Or an EU politician.

Alright, to bet your own money.

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Re: "pretty brave to bet against a Greek default right now."

And don't forget, we the taxpayer are not bailing out Greece, we are bailing out the banksters who colluded with Goldman Sachs in lending far more to Greece than was sensible for either banksters or Greece (and getting paid megadosh up front for that lending).

Agreed 100%, and also there should be no bailout of any kind. Let the banks eat the losses, that is the only way to reign in the stupidity.

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Pot meet kettle

Strange how Euro rates were stable last time only cash-based stock transactions were allowed and British financial jugglers were at home playing with their dog.

One may be tempted to try again - for two or three YEARS - and look where smug Britain will be then.

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Re: Pot meet kettle

Would you mind translating your comment for the sound of mind, please?

I have no idea what you're talking about.

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Angel

Re: Pot meet kettle

He's saying that all of Britain's base is belong to someone, and we've no chance to survive make our time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pot meet kettle

He's trying to blame Italy's woes on the city of London. Much like its the Anglo-Saxons' fault that the Spanish banks engaged in wild property speculation in Spain, the French banks lent money they didn't have to everyone in the Eurozone and the German Landesbanks moved state funds to Ireland for speculative purposes.

One of thse days the "Europeans" might accept that the Euro and all the damage done by it to everyone within EMU is in fact THEIR fault and not some UK-USA plot. Our politicians (and bankers) don't have the brains for that.

Sadly I suspect that will take a revolution in Spain or Greece before any politician in the Eurozone faces the truth. Neither country is far off the 60% or so youth unemployment which triggers these things and neither country has been "democratic" for very long.

Anyway way off-topic.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pot meet kettle

> .. and look where smug Britain...

I'm surprised at you. I thought all past, present and future problems were solely due to the English and yet here you are blaming the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish as well.

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Re: Pot meet kettle

You're right. I didn't make myself clear.

I found a nice example of what shall be done on the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/opinion/ban-pure-speculators-of-oil-futures.html. Tricks similar to the ones described are used constantly to raise or lower euros against dollars against ... you name it.

Greece is on the verge of collapse - no matter what currency they use - but in fact they use euros, so why don't we bet against it.

Stronger regulation against betting money you don't have is a wise move anytime, and even today.

However, I am pretty certain that banks and traders will not accept stronger regulations, since, for better or for worse, they live and make profit this way.

Back to Microsoft.... They want to simplify their price catalogue using the same figures by stating that 100 USD = 100 EUROS. They're not alone in this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pot meet kettle

> Stronger regulation against betting money you don't have is a wise move anytime, and even today.

I guess that means that banks should no longer give out loans. I mean every loan is a gamble and it is the depositors money the banks are lending out, not their own.

Here's a novel idea. How about not spending money you don't have? It is always a good idea to live within your means. Perhaps if Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland etc did this then the euro might stand a chance.

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Anonymous Coward

People will just import cheaper versions...or even worse.

We all know what happens when you charge more than consumers are prepared to stomach (see media industry). The UK wil find ways to get software from the continent (or US), and if that means 'circumventing' agreements then so be it. If MS play hard-ball on this consumers will probably just say 'well if I'm going to break the rules I may as well do it properly' and piracy will rise dramatically - or there will be a massive shift to Linux, etc.

PS. doesn't EU law mean that a person in the UK can purchase from any other EU state anyway? The only people who I see losing are the UK MS-resellers.

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Re: People will just import cheaper versions...or even worse.

"The UK wil find ways to get software from the continent... "

"doesn't EU law mean that a person in the UK can purchase from any other EU state anyway?"

Erm... isn't that exactly the point? Microsoft are creating a single price for the single market, hence the Euro pricing....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: People will just import cheaper versions...or even worse.

Buy it from a French reseller, and then try sorting out any problems with the added following complications:

Reseller pretends not to speak English when they feel like it

Reseller shrugs at your problem ("bof, iz Microsoft probleem")

Reseller office hours don't match with yours, and they take a long lunch and Friday afternoon off

national stereotypes, moi?

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Re: People will just import cheaper versions...or even worse.

Yes. People from other EU countries were buying their MS software in the UK because it was cheaper. That's why Microsoft increased the price.

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Happy

Solution is simple

Ditch Sterling and use the Euro.

Problem solved

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Stop

Re: Solution is simple

Somehow, I suspect you'd change your icon, if your company started paying you in Euros.

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Trollface

And

Again the Euro shafts the brits.

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Pint

Quote in Euros

Just quote your customers in Euros instead of Pounds and you've solved your end of the problem. You'll have to pump up your resistance to the locals moaning that you're not using their currency, but no one really makes you use the Pound for anything. Just specify this in the footnote: "Currency exchange rate = BoE on the day of purchase + 2.5%". That's how they used to do it in a 2nd hand country like Romania when the rate was very volatile day-to-day. Back then the base currency was the other continent-wide currency that will never break up: the US dollar.

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Re: Quote in Euros

VAT has to be paid in sterling and use published rates, you can't use a forward rate. Charging folks in the UK in Euros can be a somewhat "fun" experience if you're not careful. An ex-customer of mine ran up a £40K bill by using forward bought currencies see section 7.7 of VAT guide 700.

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Re: Quote in Euros

Nah I'm sticking with Sterling - at least until the Deutsche Mark is back up and running.

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Re: Quote in Euros

Back then the base currency was the other continent-wide currency that will never break up: the US dollar.

I dunno, we're trying our damnedest to kill the dollar right now... We just keep printing more and and more of them, physically and electronically.

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Puzzling

Its not like Microsoft has to recover some costs incurred in the local currency. There isn't a mine somewhere in Whales were they have to dig up copies of Windows and incur the associated wage and overhead costs (its more likely Windows comes from under old outhouse sites).

Their marginal cost per Windows/Office license is close to zero. Pricing in each market is pretty much an issue of maximizing revenue in that market. Expenses are a matter of accounting gymnastics to spread the development costs across each copy sold. And we all know how easily MS (and other IT firms) can open branch offices and magically move chunks of expenses and revenues into markets with tax and/or exchange rate advantages.

So, what's with the screwball pricing structure?

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O M G !

there was not much ranting when Mr. Bush decided to let US Dollar tumbling down, to stimulate export!

He did even go so far as explaining the currency was strong ONLY in the paper it was printed on.

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dollars

just charge the world in US dollars the same price ?

or is that too easy ?

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Devil

But...

Don't all US companies simply grab the USD price tag, and swap the $ for an £ or an € and call it a day? Switching prices to EUR should be a net *drop* in product prices!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How about not spending money you don't have?

How about Goldman Sachs not fiddling the books for the Greek government? As described in various places including BBC Radio 4's excellent "More or Less" series:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radio4/2011/09/more_or_less_debt_-_a_european.html

How about investment/casino banks not indulging in behaviour which would result (in any other trade) in them going bust? How about keeping retail bank money separate from casino bank money, like it legally had to be after the Depression and until Thatcher/Clinton repealed the relevant laws?

If my business is widgets, and someone wants to buy widgets on credit, my business has a credit control department who work out (sometimes with the help of external reference companies) how many widgets I can afford to supply on credit to any given organisation. Basically, I'm making short term loans.

If my credit control people decide an organisation is a bit risky for me to supply, I don't supply them many widgets on credit (they can have them in return for cash up front though). If I supply widgets to an outfit that turns out to be unable to pay, it's my problem. If my credit control people make a big enough mistake, my company can go bankrupt. I don't expect my company to be bailed out by the taxpayer. Them's the rules, them is.

Now imagine my company doesn't make widgets, it makes loans.

Suddenly, since the Crash of 2008, I am able to rely on the taxpayer to bail me out every few months when it becomes obvious again that I've made far too many loans to outfits with no chance of paying them back, in part because my credit control department relied on completely fabricated credit references which everyone with any sense knew were a pack of lies (see "More or Less" above), in part because every "banking stress test" since 2008 has also been a pack of lies.

Nice work, if you can get it.

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Re: How about not spending money you don't have?

How about Goldman Sachs not fiddling the books for the Greek government?

It always amuses me when Europhiles refer to Goldman-Sachs as "one of the Anglo-Saxon banks".

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>Sadly I suspect that will take a revolution in Spain or Greece before any politician in the Eurozone faces the truth.<

You mean like the one in Iceland? total media blackout?

https://www.facebook.com/Iceland.Revolution.Project

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