Microsoft adjusts Azure prices, but UK customers can rest easy

Microsoft is revising the price of its Azure cloud computing services, apparently in response to fluctuating global exchange rates.

The good news for UK customers is that they will not be affected, but the company is coy about where exactly the changes in price will be applied.

Microsoft has data centres in the US, Europe, South East Asia, Australia and South America delivering the Azure cloud computing platform and other services.

For at least the past couple of years, Microsoft has aimed to be competitive on price against rival public cloud operators such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google across every region.

However, Microsoft now appears to have changed tack in response to shifting global economic conditions, as the relative strengths of the currencies in some of the regions it maintains a presence affect how these services are priced.

Microsoft confirmed in a statement sent to V3 that the changes will lead to price increases for some regions, but declined to be specific. However, V3 understands that it is set to affect the Euro zone and Australia.

"We always evaluate current market conditions, the increased product value for a customer, customer deployment scenarios and other factors when determining pricing for our products and services," the statement said.

"Microsoft is committed to sharing pricing and licensing updates with our partners to ensure they and our customers are prepared and able to evaluate their options. Customers should speak with a Microsoft partner to learn more."

A Microsoft spokesperson told V3 that "the UK won't be affected by the price raise".

A rise in prices will buck the general trend for cloud services, which have consistently become cheaper as providers build out their infrastructure and capacity, helped by the shrinking cost of storage.

AWS has regularly cut the prices it charges customers since it began operations almost a decade ago, for example.

However, some cloud providers have decided not to compete on price, but on quality of service.

Rackspace announced last year that it was moving to a managed services model whereby it would aim to attract and retain customers through the level of support it could offer, rather than trying to beat AWS in a race to the bottom.

Microsoft has been making a similar shift, telling customers at its TechEd conference last year that it would offer services and integration with Windows-based infrastructure that rivals would not be able to match.

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  • Origin: By Daniel Robinson: GhAgent