Microsoft’s planned price rises for its Azure cloud computing service in Australia have led to fears that businesses will not gain as much benefit from the services.
The problem is being aggravated by the falling Australian dollar (AUD). On 1st August 2014 AUD$1 was worth US$0.93, but on the same day this year it had dropped to just US$0.73. It is predicted that the Australian dollar could drop even further over the next year.
The new prices are being applied to new contracts or contracts that are being renewed, which means that customers on a current contract will not be affected. Microsoft says the price rises are part of the company’s policy to assess its pricing structure to ensure that it is in line with the market.
Microsoft has also announced, however, that it is committed to matching the prices of rival Amazon. The price match guarantee means that if Amazon dropped its costs, then so would Microsoft.
Amazon has not yet announced whether it is planning to raise prices in Australia; however, it has admitted that the exchange rate fluctuations have led to some uncertainty, although reductions in price are part of Amazon Web Services’ business model.
Experts have voiced concern that the cost increases will have a negative impact, as Microsoft’s cloud presence in the country is less than one year old. Some have put the increase down to the company’s accountants, saying that this approach is not that of a company trying to build its reputation in a new market.