Monday, July 4, 2011

Lets talk about Office 365 baby

The trumpets blare! The Hallelujah Chorus comes up! Office 365 is here! Let all rejoice!

Australia get ready to grab your ankles!

Over the weekend I was talking to a friend of mine who is looking into Office 365. He was working through the numbers to try and see if there's a benefit for his company.

Initially he was doing all of his budgetary forecasts on the quoted price on Microsoft's website of USD$24 per user per month. At that number the pricing looked interesting.

Then Telstra comes riding over the hill with a price of AUD$40.10 per user per month.

Now while I may have a Vodka addled brain, even I realise that with the USD sinking to record lows someone is making out like a bandit on this deal.

The only way that pricing difference makes any sense is if AUD$1 got you about USD$0.58 - as I'm writing this AUD$1 gets you about USD$1.06.

This is a cloud based service. There is no 'product' as such. Nothing is shipped, warehoused, stored and so on so what the hell is the justification for such a huge increase in price? My friend was told that there were pricing differences based on geographic region.

I just don't get that, it defeats the purpose of the cloud. I mean Office 365 for Australia is, as far as I know, driven out of a data centre in Singapore.

According to the Singapore Office 365 website users are being charged USD$24 per user per month so why are Australian users being hit with such a massive price increase for the privilege of using their bandwidth to access these applications?

At these prices, unless Microsoft hoists the prices of their other products, I can't see this generating torrents of cash out of Australia.

It would be cheaper to go and register a company in the United States and buy Office 365 from there.

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