back to article Crack open those wallets: Microsoft is raising software prices AGAIN

Hosting firms have been given a heads-up about some double-digit price hikes due at the start of next year and the year after. While Microsoft has been slashing the price of its Surface hardware amid a $900m write-down, the price of its software has headed north. The Services Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) is the latest …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "A channel source told us that there is "some logic" in Microsoft's move here, as the licence will accommodate unlimited virtual machines whereas it used to be restricted to four."

    And more logic in the fact that CPUs are getting far more powerful over time...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or the fact that there are enough customers committed to enough licences that they don't have any choice but to cough up.

      On an alternative note, if Linux also has a 38% price hike it would still weigh in at free. (I'll await the flames)

      1. Tom 7

        Linux up 38%

        Seems to have set the phones going - I think my linux 'support' income will be up more than 38%.

      2. Enrico Vanni

        Actually, like most I've dismissed Linux as the pikey option, but my first thought when I read this was that between price hikes and sabotaging their own products MS seem determined to make Linux viable...

        1. yossarianuk

          If Linux is pkey that means most of the largest online firms (google, amazon, wikipedia) are pikey.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I guess you are not a decision maker in this space, but the reality is that Linux is usually much more expensive.

        Firstly the licensing is considerably more expensive for an equivalent enterprise supported version like Red Hat or SUSE. Then it has a higher TCO to use it in most uses (except maybe webserver farms) - for instance Linux has a vastly higher number of security patches to evaluate on an ongoing basis. And Linux is less efficient and scalable as a Hypervisor, so you have to use more hardware...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well, the staffing costs are higher. But it depends if your Linux admin staff are more efficient therefore you need less staff.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >if Linux also has a 38% price hike it would still weigh in at free

        Try saying that to a RHEL customer at the moment....

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      The rentseeking of King Ball

      > And more logic in the fact that CPUs are getting far more powerful over time...

      1) I have already paid for the CPU

      2) Why should I pay Microsoft anything for work done by others

      3) You could also price-hike because airtravel is getting easier etc.

    3. Bob Vistakin

      Excellent photo of Blamer excreting the first Lumia

      Like all its brethren it remains unsold but it's the movement which counts.

      1. Bob Vistakin

        Re: Excellent photo of Blamer excreting the first Lumia

        Hmm, the reg's small version seems to have wandered away. Never mind.

    4. LarsG

      Got to make up the deficit, the losses will always be borne by the customers.....

      Don't think Microsoft sees you as anything other than a cash cow.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster (Wirth's Law)

      "And more logic in the fact that CPUs are getting far more powerful over time..."

      They'll never get powerful enough to make Windows responsive. That's due to plain bad design.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster (Wirth's Law)

        Actually, current Windows versions outperform Linux. e.g. Windows 8 has faster graphics and large file copy performance when benchmarked against Ubuntu. Windows server outperforms Linux as an NFS 4.1 server! And Hyper-v server scales better and is more efficient than any Linux hypervisor, and Windows Phone is much more efficient and responsive and requires less resources and memory than Android....

        1. Rick Giles

          Re: Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster (Wirth's Law)

          "Actually, current Windows versions outperform Linux. e.g. Windows 8 has faster graphics and large file copy performance when benchmarked against Ubuntu"

          If Micro$haft wasn't chocking the crap out of the hardware vendors to keep them from writing decent drivers for Linux this would be a whole other ball game.

          What's a synonym with antitrust.... Oh, yeah...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    more footguns going off in Redmond

    Dear MS,

    Until now, I have found that the cost of moving to a Non Microsoft solution was marginally more expensive than your option. With these latest price rises, I will not be spending any more money on your Server Software.

    Have a nice day,


    <customer who is fed up with MS Pricing>

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: more footguns going off in Redmond

      Didn't one of El Reg's own writers recently point out that Microsoft would be hard to take down because it was a many-legged beast?*

      Well, it seems that Microsoft is bringing itself down by shooting itself in each and every foot!

      *Too lazy just now to look up who.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: more footguns going off in Redmond

        That would be me. And it's still true. The price hike for service providers is far more complicated than a simple money grab. This is emphatically not Microsoft footbulleting themselves.


        Fine, I'll stir my stumps and write something on this...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Where do you want to go today?"

      The Linux Emporium

  3. JDX Gold badge

    Isn't the point that they are pushing Azure prices down and self-host prices up to encourage people to move to PAAS?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Other Cloud service providers are forcing MS to cut it's prices and fat margins.

    2. Euripides Pants

      "encourage people to move to PAAS"

      Why would people want to move to Easter Egg coloring kits?

  4. Nuke

    Price Passed to Linux Users ?

    Many hosting companies offer a choice between Windows and Linux servers and the cost is often the same. As this is presumably for simplification, they are quite likely to keep it that way. Unfortunately this means that even if you go for the Linux option you might still be having some of this price hike passed onto you.

    Look for a company that charges less for Linux, and even then check that its Linux prices do not rise in line with the Windows prices next year.

    1. bigtimehustler

      Re: Price Passed to Linux Users ?

      AWS is cheaper isn't it? Thats a pretty major chunk of the market...

  5. John Sanders

    It doesn't matter

    In hosting no one who is using Linux is going to be affected (Unless running VM's on that disgrace that is Hyper-V)

    And those who will be affected they have no option but to cough up the "monies".

    Such is the power of the MS addiction.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It doesn't matter

      Seriously? Disgrace? Haven't played with Hyper-V recently have we?

      That aside, this is disgraceful behaviour by Microsoft and they deserve whatever slamming is coming due to them trying to squeeze the last drop of revenue out of their existing (surviving?) customer base.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Apparently, no one at Redmond's a Star Wars fan.

        "The harder you squeeze your fist, the more systems will fall through your fingers."

    2. h3

      Re: It doesn't matter

      If you are hosting Linux/FreeBSD VM's on Hyperv (With Samba 4.0 Domain Controllers on simple single board computers) it will still cost nothing. (And stuff like Live Migration will work just fine.)

      Works quite well with the OS on USB.

      If cost is an overriding concern you can get away with not having to have a seperate machine in the datacentre for purely admin related stuff which most of Linux options seem to require.

      (Xen + Solaris + ZFS would have been the best if it was just bugfixed but it never came to be. Hyperv usb booting + ReFS is about the closest and it works pretty damn well).

  6. Smoking Gun

    Let me guess once Microsoft has all those nice Office 365 customers in their claws they'll whack em with a price hike. So let me understand this tactic, sell low, gain market share, whack a price hike.

    I hate Microsoft with each passing day. They are already killing desktop virtualisation, will probably kill Cloud.

    More Open Source pls.

  7. MyHandle123


    Are you trying to tell me that people still buy Microsoft products?

    1. John Sanders

      Re: Really?

      Nobody ever got fired from buying Microsoft's software...

      Besides it is all they know and understand

    2. skuzzzy

      Re: Really?

      Surely that's the point - soon, you won't be able to buy anything from Microsoft, only rent it at ever increasing prices?

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    Microsoft? Hosting?

    People use Microsoft Server for hosting?


    1. Robert Moore

      Re: Microsoft? Hosting?

      I have always said the Microsoft software is just not ready for the datacenter.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft? Hosting?

      One good reason is far fewer security vulnerabilities than an Open Source stack, and statistics show that you are much less likely to be hacked / defaced running Windows on an Internet facing server than if you run Linux...

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft? Hosting?

        @Anonymous Coward - Posted Saturday 7th September 2013 18:24 GMT

        Go on then, show us these statistics to demonstrate that you're not just yet another MS-paid shill.

        Of course, if the statistics are based around there being far fewer Windows Internet facing servers to hack compared to Linux based Internet facing servers then that argument is as flawed as this interesting and entirely true fact: Pink cars have less accidents than any other car. Why? There are fewer pink cars than any other colour.

  9. btrower

    No way to get us back.

    MS has nearly lost me completely. Once they do, I will never be going back. This news may just be the straw for me.

    1. raving angry loony

      Re: No way to get us back.

      Nearly? NEARLY? If they haven't lost you by now, then you're just like another crack addict who swears they'll quit just after the next hit. Well, maybe the one after that.

      Microsoft - get folks locked in, then whack up the prices one way or another. Works for drug dealers, it's worked for them for 30 years as well. The only way out is not to play their game at all.

      1. h3

        Re: No way to get us back.

        It is worse than with drug dealers. (Most of them anyway are addicts who do it to pay for their own habit. The other option would be to do worse types of crime - robbery etc).

        It is the same type of thing that the higher up's who don't touch the stuff do however though.

    2. DaveyG

      Re: No way to get us back.

      I'm in the same boat, I don't know why any hosting company would want to sell Windows hosting these days when you look at how far Linux has come on. You cant even buy a decent hosting control panel for Windows!

  10. wdonelson

    Must keep share price up; Solution: Milk customers

    They have to keep the share price up somehow. Milking the shrinking customer base sounds like a typical idiot's strategy. Why didn’t they keep Ballmer?

  11. vmcreator

    Foot - Gun - Pull Trigger :-)

    First you announce the death of Technet subscription. Are you sure Mr Microsoft........errr okay then just hold this gun, that's right point at your foot, and pull trigger.Yes it hurts does it not?,

    but Apple, Red Hat and VMware did not feel a thing :-)

  12. asdf

    good timing

    Great idea raises prices just as the NSA all but outs Microsoft with providing back doors. Let talk in a year and see where Microsoft's revenue is at in this sector.

  13. adnim

    As much as being smug...

    is somewhat self righteously complacent. I have decided to fight against my complacency to write these few words...

    I don't care, I sacked Microsoft a long time ago.

    Would advise anyone to do the same.... The move to open source is a one off expense and if one plans to run a business for more than a couple of years the move will pay for itself.

    I remember what licence fees were, vaguely.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sure sign of a company on the road to death

    When they can't think of any thing else, the usual expedient is to raise prices. Maybe something'll turn up... What actually turns up is that more customers decide the products aren't worth the new higher prices, so some of them stop buying. Then the company has to raise its prices again...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sure sign of a company on the road to death

      Well, it sounds just like the strategy of VMWare, RHel and so forth. Road to death? Please...

      Now, if MS had lowered the prices the Linux horde would have been jeering "how desperate M$ is" (besides the normal rants how Windows/Office/Hyper-V/Xbox/365/whatever is utter rubbish)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abusing their position in the workplace to fund their failures elsewhere.

    Is there not some sort of law against that?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internal pricing

    I hope that the increased price of Windows is reflected in the revenue/profit/loss figures for Azure as Microsoft continue to tout their increasing market presence. After all, if they weren't charging themselves what they charge others, then the various competition authorities still on the prowl would perk up at the thought of more limelight opportunities. So soon after the browser "oops we forgot to comply" snafu, surely MS can't be so thoughtlessly anti-competitive as to raise the prices for their customers who are also their competition in the PaaS space?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's almost like...

    ... Microsoft have their own hosting platform they'd rather customers use and want to price 3rd parties out of the market.

    Still, Windows will be cheaper than RHEL.

  18. Medixstiff

    And they wonder why people pirate.

    So firstly M$ screams about TechNet copies being the main way people pirate, so they shutdown TechNet.

    Now they bump up the prices on thier software.

    Plus they still haven't answered the question of whether they will bring in cheaper MSDN pricing to compensate for the loss of TechNet, they only give the "get an eval. version" line.

    I feel sorry for the gen y's and gen z's coming through, because in my experience, they don't have the $3.5K per course to help them get certified and most companies only pay for training of certified people to keep them happy and with the company.

    With all the companies outsourcing to India as well, is there really any use going for a career in IT anymore?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Killing the competition

    This only effects those using the SPLA licenses and who is that, the Microsoft Partners whose hosting operations are in direct competition with Office 365 and Windows Azure. Push up the price of the SPLA push the customer to a cheaper option with more features like Office 365. You play with fire when you do business with MS they will always burn those that get in the way.

  20. raving angry loony

    Excellent! The more Microsoft raises prices, the more folks might finally realize they've been drinking the self-destruction kool-aid. Maybe. There's a lot of self-deluded people out there unfortunately, still firmly with their tongues stuck in the Microsoft cult buttocks.

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