Microsoft Office prices could rise 30 per cent in South Africa

Microsoft Corp. in South Africa will be increasing the price of its Office Suite by between 20 and 30 percent with effect Nov. 1. This price increase will only impact customers on the Open and Select licence agreements, and will not affect enterprise and retail customers, says Heather Third, Microsoft South Africa desktop business group manager.

The price is being increased to bring SA in line with the US-based baseline price list. “In 1999 Microsoft SA decided to decrease the price of the Office Suite to Open and Select licence customers due to the weak economy and declining rand at that point. Since then, there have been no increases,” Third says. “As such, Microsoft SA is now at risk, as the local price is lower than any other worldwide. This increase will bring local pricing into line with international pricing norms.”

The exchange rate has also stabilized since the 1999 reduction, she notes, and the Office Suite today is still 11 per cent cheaper in rand terms, even with the adjustments, than it was when customers bought the software at the old price. “As a result, the impact to the customer will not be as high as the 20 per cent (to) 30 per cent increase suggests,” she concludes.