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Exchange Rates Spell High Prices for Windows 7 In the EU

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the congratulations-on-choosing-the-executive-version dept.

Windows 548

CWmike writes "European customers will pay up to twice as much for Windows 7 compared with US users, even though the new operating system will ship without a browser in Europe. Some of the money Microsoft stands to make on the European editions of Windows 7 comes from the weak dollar. Last week, for instance, the dollar fell against the euro the most in a month, hitting $1.41 per euro. For example, Windows 7 Professional, the key retail edition for businesses, will sport a price tag of 285 euros, or $400.60, and £189.99, or $313.84, at Saturday's exchange rate. In other words, EU customers will pay twice the $199.99 U.S. price; U.K. buyers will pay 57% more. And depending on your view on bundling IE, Europe's customers will be paying more for less, with Microsoft's decision to yank IE8 from Windows 7 in an effort to head off EU antitrust regulators, who may still force the company to take more drastic measures."

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Fine (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511437)

I won't buy it, then.

Really, fuck US products. I don't need your music, software, cars, or internet.

In fact, that includes Slas[NO CARRIER]

Re:Fine (1, Informative)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511511)

Im after downloading it for free and getting a legal key valid till 2010

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/download.aspx [microsoft.com]

surprised that microsoft are so "generous" lately

quite happy with it so far and (gasp!) will ensure my next laptop has win7 on it

Re:Fine (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511549)

I had the RC the day after release :) I'm very happy with the product, but not £189.99 happy. Especially not if the very same product is £60 - £70 cheaper in the US.

Or are MS suggesting that it costs that much to spell words like "colour" and "flavour" correctly and swap the primary definition for "Hood" and "Bonnet" around? ;-)

Re:Fine (5, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511709)

I had the RC the day after release :) I'm very happy with the product, but not £189.99 happy. Especially not if the very same product is £60 - £70 cheaper in the US.

How does that even work? If the USD is low, shouldn't that make american products cheaper?

Re:Fine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511737)

In IT and a few other industries they dont bother with complicated things like exchange rates so :

$199 == £199 == â199

the result of this is that we get really ripped off on some products.

Re:Fine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511801)

How does that even work? If the USD is low, shouldn't that make american products cheaper?

The usual answer is "customers want a stable price for software, we don't bother tracking the exchange rate on a day by day basis." In the EU they have fixed prices in euros, pounds whatever.

A weak dollar means the nominal dollar price is higher. They could price lower but they are not in the business of selling at cost+n%, they are business of pricing at whatever the local market will bear. That doesn't change much with the exchange rate.

Re:Fine (1)

lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511751)

well, I plan to buy one of the first netbook with pine trail, that should come with a free win7 attached (sooner or later)

Re:Fine (5, Informative)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511617)


It makes sense. They don't really lose anything as this is prior to you actually being able to buy it. Microsoft seem pretty confident that their new system is something to be proud of, so they get to show it off in the most ballsy way possible - by letting you actually have a copy and try it out for an entire year. The Vista criticism is now somewhat mitigated by people being able to get a copy of Windows 7 to install right now. Microsoft benefit from the "thousand eyes" testing principle of GNU/Linux. And when the time comes round that it is available to buy, you have an inducement in that its already installed and in use. There are also Advance Order deals available right now that let you buy it for half-price. Also, unlike the ridiculous number of different Vista versions there were, Windows 7 (ignoring server and mobile variants) comes in three flavours: Home, Professional and Ultimate which are easily differentiated by a short feature list of extras. Home Edition isn't the hamstrung version that it was with XP or Vista. It only lacks a couple of features that pros really would want, and Ultimate only adds things that really sound like the most exclusive features (e.g. the on and off-disk encryption utilities). So you aren't forced to buy some "deluxe" system just for basic features you'd expect.

I think Microsoft are being "generous" for very sound financial reasons. They reckon people will try this and actually want to buy it. I'm a Gentoo and Kubuntu user most of the time, but credit where its due.

Re:Fine (1)

Warlord88 (1065794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511605)

You live in EU? Then you definitely don't need American cars!!

Re:Fine (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511657)

Yea, what's this about American cars? I mean not even Americans are buying them :D

Re:Fine (1, Flamebait)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511667)

Flamebait? Mods must have used up all their "senseofhumour" quote over the weekend.

I'm not leaving Slashdot, I'm not boycotting US products in general, and taking it as a person insult if I did is just stoopid.

Re:Fine (1)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511807)

yes, but we'll always need their pr0n. There's something about an American accent when groaning appropriately...

Re:Fine (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511901)

That's the only smart thing to do. Why pay exorbitant prices for a shoddy operating system? Switch to something stable, like Debian. Some of the finest cities in Europe are already doing so, as noted in another /. article yesterday.

Hell, I live in the US, and I don't want to pay for Windows!!

It's not only Europe (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511441)

In Australia, the price of Windows 7 is AU$200. The US equivalent is AU$60.
You do the math.

Yes, this is a big "f*** you" from Redmond.

AC

Re:It's not only Europe (2, Insightful)

j35ter (895427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511521)

Oh well, we'll just leech it from http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org]

OEM Prices Please (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511453)

I've never ever bought a retail copy of windows. I've only met one person who actually has. Stop wasting our time and quote the OEM prices, because thats what everyone buys.

Re:OEM Prices Please (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511629)

I also bought a retail copy, because I won a Mac and can't use an OEM version. I guess many more people are in my situation.

Re:OEM Prices Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511747)

Just buy a USB mouse with your OEM copy and then shelve the mouse.

Re:OEM Prices Please (2, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511913)

except for the 50% of people who don 't qualify for the OEM/ education versions.

If your OEM and your installing it on non authorized machines then you will be sued by MSFT it is just a matter of time until they find out.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511463)

If the Euro has more buying power than the dollar (lets say it's double for ease of math), wouldn't the price of something be $10 in the US and €5 in Europe?

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

Winckle (870180) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511479)

You clearly don't understand Globalisation.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511525)

Indeed. Globalisation makes source material cheaper for companies and end-products more expensive for consumers while the same consumers at the same time have to be more accepting of corporate bullshit, lesser quality and have to be flexible when it comes to their jobs.

Meanwhile, consumers are NOT allowed to profit from globalisation themselves. That would defeat the whole idea of carving more money out of your customers.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511879)

Indeed. Globalisation makes source material cheaper for companies and end-products more expensive for consumers

You are very wrong. [american.com]

Re:Huh? (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511569)

Globalisation is all about the customer, and their position with regard to the market.

For an example, take a capital letter L, invert it, and place it next to a lower-case o. The customers is the L. For added realism, put a capital F behind the inverted L and keep adding and deleting a single space between them.

Re:Huh? (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511621)

**r the pr*tecti*n *f *ur children let's n*t use a capital *, capital * *r l*wer case * anym*re.

Re:Huh? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511641)

For an example, take a capital letter L, invert it, and place it next to a lower-case o. The customers is the L. For added realism, put a capital F behind the inverted L and keep adding and deleting a single space between them.

I see...

Re:Huh? (4, Interesting)

kukulcan (1440401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511873)

I fail to see the link between a "weaker dollar" and higher prices in the EU. Actually, it should work the other way - a weaker dollar should lead to *lower* prices in the EU, in Euros. Anyway, i never understood the pricing of some companies - MS, Apple, Sony - as they seem to assume that 1$ = 1 = 0.75£ or something. Economically this just doesn't make sense. The prices should reflect the costs, which in these companies are in different currencies. The prices should then be ajusted to reflect the division of the costs in these currencies, and some hedging should be done to counteract exchange rate risk. Just assuming a fixed exchange rate (one which is wrong...) just doesn't make sense to me. I would love to see the justification for this, including why the prices in EU and Britain always seem to be higher than in the US or Japan.

Not surprising (2, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511465)

For some reason, pretty much everything in technology is assumed 1€=1$... at least ever since the dollar is weak. Poor Britons have it worse, because they often get 1&pound=1$

Try buying Apple hardware here... That hurts.... Smallest MacBook? 945€ In the US 999$ (which translates to 712€ at current rates)

Re:Not surprising (5, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511675)

Not forgetting that the EU price includes sales tax, while the US one doesn't, lets add for example belgium's 21% sales tax -- that makes the US price actually â861. Still not a great deal in the EU, but not as royally shafted as you made it look.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511763)

Ah, yes, indeed. I tend to forget that. I'll never get used to this Sales Tax thing. I, like most Europeans, actually prefer to see what we have to pay without calculating it ourselves.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Alarash (746254) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511713)

This is because companies sell based on the cost of living, and yes, $1 is pretty much equal to 1. If I earn $2000 in the US, or 2000 in Europe, then paying $199 in the US or 199 in Europe is the same. Now of course if you look at the absolute value, we are being screwed over in Europe. This is why a lot of Europeans still buy from the US (even if you pay the customs you save money). And this is why the European union was asking the Bush administration to stop keeping the dollars low - you exports are cheaper, and your import as well since they are paid in dollars anyway.

Re:Not surprising (2, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511783)

This is because companies sell based on the cost of living, and yes, $1 is pretty much equal to 1.

[citation needed]

I frankly seriously doubt that. In that case, an Apple computer in New York should be much more expensive than an Apple computer in rural Ohio.

Also, the price of an Apple computer in Italy should be different than an Apple computer in Germany (Those countries definitely have different cost of living). This is not the case... Both are 945€

Re:Not surprising (0, Troll)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511815)

If I earn $2000 in the US, or 2000 in Europe

In a month? I'd be delighted to get a job here in Spain which paid 2000 euros per month, and that's with a degree from a prestigious university and over 5 years' experience. In the US I would probably be earning about $4000 per month.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511849)

Where I live, 2000€ per month is close to what a qualified worker (think manual labour, low level office work) earns per month. Of course, our rent is close to 1300€ alone for a medium-sized apartment.

Just to illustrate: cost of living varies widely in Europe. (Hey, and oddly enough, the cheapest MacBook in Spain is 899€, which surprised me.)

You are getting the same ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511469)

... albeit some simple assembly required. With IE 8 separated it can be still easily added ... on the other hand, you could also think about not having to pay for bloatware. Alas, the increased costs here in Europe for Win7 will make even more companies think about the future upgrade path: it might not be Windows anymore.

Re:You are getting the same ... (1)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511661)

You also won't be able to do an upgrade install at present. Could be a fairly big deal for a lot of people who aren't confident enough to restore all their files and applications.

Captive customers can't complain (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511473)

It goes to show how far the market for personal computer operating systems is owned by one firm. It is amazingly hard to sell commodity software yet Microsoft manage to do it, at the prices it chooses, because it has no effective competition. Admirable, if slightly freaky (it makes me think of someone selling 128MB memory cards for a premium).

But it never works the other direction (5, Insightful)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511489)

Interestingly enough, when the dollar was strong against the Euro (e.g. 1 Euro = 0.8 US$), we did not have the reverse effect. At that time in Europe, Prices of goods from the US were just increased.

Well Duh! (1)

StupidPeopleTrick (1006681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511491)

That is the way that it is. The only way to get around this is to have something like DVDs with different regions... and please please, lets not go there! Exchange rates are a fact of life for most of us. In New Zealand you wait for the NZD to get strong and buy from amazon... When it is weak, you put some in savings (waiting for the next strong time). Listen, the USD could get weak (and some have forecast as much), then you get Win7 on the cheap in the UK. Do the free upgrade or wait for the USD to weaken... makes for an interesting exec meeting I am sure... - StupidPeopleTrick

Re:Well Duh! (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511543)

The US$ IS weak. Didn't you read the article? It's the whole point of it. The Euro price has NO RELATION WHATSOEVER to the US$ price. The weaker the US$ gets, the more we pay relative to US customers.

Been there, done that (3, Informative)

benbread (910501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511495)

Pretty much the entire rest of the world got fucked over with Vista pricing too.. Here's how Gates weasel'd out of it @1:08: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmd93lWbOsw [youtube.com]

News for nerds... (4, Funny)

Fross (83754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511497)

People actually pay for Windows?

Wow.

Re:News for nerds... (1)

j35ter (895427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511547)

No, real people don't!

Re:News for nerds... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511791)

This article is an unfair characterization of what's happening. It's not that Europeans will pay twice as much as Americans (well it is, but that's not the point). It is that in America, we're having a huge sale, everything must go, and everything is half off (for our rich European friends).

And if any of you Europeans think this is unfair, do not despair, we can certainly make it up to you. Now that George W. Bush is out of office, I'm pretty sure that he would be willing to go to Old Europe on a consultative basis, and for about half the price, do to you, what he did to us, to devalue your currency in half.

Re:News for nerds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511915)

Why yes. Some even use it.

Well, whaddaya know (3, Interesting)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511503)

Microsoft actually wants me to leech this off of BitTorrent. There's no other explanation.

Well, wouldn't want to disappoint them, no? I was pretty surprised at how little I hate Windows 7. I was actually thinking of buying. But it seems my perfect track record of never paying for Windows will remain perfect.

I mean, think about it. You can get new machines for what? 500 Euros? Do they really think that a, almost, 60% bonus for the OS will fly? I realize that OEM deals will look decidedly different, but come on...

Re:Well, whaddaya know (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511669)

Or you could keep using XP or support an alternative.

Re:Well, whaddaya know (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511865)

Whoa, whoa, whoa, XP? Y'all from the future?

Give me a compelling reason to move from (DRM free) 2K Pro, and we can talk.

Re:Well, whaddaya know (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511885)

How about "I want to connect to the Internet". Seriously, you must be so owned right now.

Re:Well, whaddaya know (1, Offtopic)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511797)

I'm sure the magic of monopolistic bundling with hardware will solve this problem. After all, it's why Vista sold. Seriously, why does the EU care about browsers, the tying to hardware crap is so much worse from an anti-competitive standpoint.

Re:Well, whaddaya know (4, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511891)

Microsoft actually wants me to leech this off of BitTorrent. There's no other explanation.

I am confused. Where does this feeling of entitlement to someones product come from? If you don't agree with their pricing for Windows 7, you are free to use the older version if you have it or switch to any of the many different free operating systems available.

Thats what you get for (0, Troll)

nonofyourc (1582741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511515)

pissing off a big corporation.. Europe, get ready to pay back the massive fines microsoft was forced to pay by European legislators. Bend over and take it.

Re:Thats what you get for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511533)

Two words come to my mind: obedient fuck. You are one.

Re:Thats what you get for (1)

nonofyourc (1582741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511557)

Yeah, but you still end up paying for it one way or another :) ,the word shortsighted comes to mind :P

Re:Thats what you get for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511581)

>Europe, get ready to pay back the massive fines microsoft was forced to pay by European legislators. Bend over and take it.

I don't think so.

http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/06/28/0344234/The-State-of-Munichs-Ongoing-Linux-Migration

Re:Thats what you get for (1)

j35ter (895427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511583)

Um, we actually took M$'s money, now we've elected a PirateParty member into the European Parliament. The way it looks, Balmer & co. are the ones bent over and awaiting our second coming :D

Re:Thats what you get for (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511857)

I hope there will be more to come. When more than half of our delegates are local PP members, Balmer will more likely start to reconsider his crap.

Re:Thats what you get for (4, Insightful)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511593)

I think you might have that a bit backwards. If .eu says that Microsoft isn't playing by their rules, and the prices go all askew, competitors will eat MS's market in that region. There's already been many stories about various European governmental entities using various Linux distros as a Windows replacement. It'd be great to have alternatives to Windows become the standard operating platform across an entire 1st world country.

However, at this stage piracy will still keep Windows in the dominant user position.

Re:Thats what you get for (2, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511635)

How about Europe just prevent sale within the EU until it complies with the EU directive? How about instead of paying Microsoft Tax, EU subsidises educational and support forums for common Linux distributions? Spends the money MS gave them giving similar incentives as Intel was accused of to PC manufacturers to include and support Linux by default?

You think the US can hold MS afloat by itself?

Re:Thats what you get for (1)

avxo (861854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511833)

You really think that MS would be the one hurting if the EU prevented the sale of Microsoft software? How naive are you? Such a ban would last all of 15 minutes before panicked EU politicos apologized profusely, lifted the ban and resigned.

Not a problem really (2, Interesting)

geegel (1587009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511523)

Everybody has the right to shoot himself in the leg, just don't moan when it hurts like a bitch. I wouldn't be surprised if I'll see a sudden rise in Windows' piracy rate or, even better, see more people switch to Ubuntu.

Re:Not a problem really (1)

DanJ_UK (980165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511663)

A sudden rise? I thought Windows' piracy rates have always and will always be fairly consistent from the news I read very week.

Re:Not a problem really (1)

geegel (1587009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511733)

Consistent yes. There's always room for more though

Re:Not a problem really (1)

geegel (1587009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511785)

On second thought, I just realized that an increase in an already high piracy rate is much more harmful than an increase in a lower one. Let me give you an example. Product A has a piracy rate of 50% which goes up to 55%. From the developer's perspective he just lost 10% of his customer base. Now let's take product B which has a piracy rate of 90% but which goes up to let's say 92%. The loss related to the customer base is double now (20%).

Re:Not a problem really (4, Insightful)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511883)

or, even better, see more people switch to Ubuntu.

A neighbour asked if I would build him a grunty machine to do video production and as a general use computer. He told me he had heard Vista was a nightmare, he needed a machine now, and he wasn't sure what he should do.

I told him that XP probably wouldn't 'get the juice' out of the current generation of processors properly and that windows 7 won't be out for a while and would he like to give Ubuntu (studio) a go. I told him he would at least save on the price of a copy of windows and he might be able to buy some other gear. As suggested by a slashdotter here I let him know that there would probably be problems as any computer has but we can work through any issues that arise, so far all has gone well.

I was pleasantly surprised by the latest Ubuntu Studio Jaunty release. His video camera and mobile phone worked with it immediately, the webcam on the ASUS monitor works well with skype. We setup Amarok for his music collection. I showed him how to install more software, told him there were other video programs aside for Kino but to give this one a go, now he is using it to make dvd's of his fishing trips.

My neighbour is a fireman, and is quite humble about his proficiency as a computer user. I told him the machine is NOT windows or a mac but he is using the machine with confidence blowing away any pre-conceptions in my mind of Linux usability. He is about as far away from being a Linux geek as anyone can be and keeping the purchase price of windows, to him, meant he could afford a kick ass logitech speaker setup and most of the purchase price of a new HP printer. When I asked him a few days ago about how the new computer was going his exact word were:

"I'm lovin' it"

Linux may not be ready for the desktop, but I think it's fast becoming the new value proposition.

So don't buy it.... (4, Insightful)

budword (680846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511555)

There are other options these days.

Re:So don't buy it.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511609)

There are other options these days.

Yes.......it's be interesting to see how well Photoshop CS4 runs on your non-MS/mon-Mac computer.

Yeah, that's a HUGE market segment there... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511739)

How many people NEED what's in CS4 that isn't in CS3? Because CS3 works under Wine.

Cupid Stunt

Re:So don't buy it.... (1)

ami.one (897193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511625)

Finally, Year of Linux on the Desktop is Near ! (for Europe)

So it will be cheaper to import even a single copy (1)

Etylowy (1283284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511573)

$199 + ~$20 shipping + 17-23% VAT - a single imported windows seven pro would be no more than $270, or 192 euro. You save 97 euro or $135 PER licence.

let's say your company has 100 PCs...

It looks like M$ makes users get the non-EU windows 7 by making it cheaper - what do you think will the companies selling PCs with "Free windows" do?

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511615)

Except.... Often US companies do not ship technology related stuff (software and hardware) to Europe. Plus, upon importing you get to pay a hefty import tax (last time, I did buy something larger it was 33%... Urks!)

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (1)

Etylowy (1283284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511715)

Well, so ones that do will earn more. How long do you think it will take:
a) US based companies to realise that there is some decent money to be made selling windows 7 to EU customers
b) EU based companies figure out it's better to cut the middle man, buy windows 7 wholesale in US, import it and sell to their customers

Also there is no import duty for all personal imports of value up to 150 euro (so all windows seven oem, most retail), and AFAIK there is no import duty on software at all (or it's very low: 3-5% - adding an extra 5-10 bucks).

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511819)

Well, oddly enough, this still isn't happening and the dollar has been weak for ages. Why isn't this already the default modus operandi?

I didn't know that there was only a low (or none) tax on software. The case were I did get taxed horribly, it was indeed hardware and not software. (And indeed it was 150++€)

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (1)

Etylowy (1283284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511875)

Well, first of all most of the personal imports would be games and that's no longer smart choise:
- can't be done for console games - NTSC vs PAL
- isn't that much of a deal - even if you save 30$ on a purchase (a max on PC titles) that would only cover more expensive shipping and tax at best

Of course there are companies that import games from US and Asia and offer them at roughly 60-80% of the local retail price.

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511905)

I import my games from the UK. Sure, I pay more, but at least I get the damned things in English. (That said, I buy perhaps one game a year, at best)

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511731)

Software and videogames are generally toll free if you import to Europe, which means that Etylowy is correct in his calculations.

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511683)

$199 + ~$20 shipping + 17-23% VAT - a single imported windows seven pro would be no more than $270, or 192 euro. You save 97 euro or $135 PER licence.

But what about customs fees? They usually exceed VAT a lot, due to protectionism. And will a US copy of Windows activate from a European IP address / European phone call?

Actually, the higher price is probably also due to I18N translation costs, though that is certainly not the only reason. The main reason is IMHO simply higher purchasing power in the EU, compared to the US. Even within the EU, consumer prices are usually higher in Germany than in Spain. But compared to the purchasing power in those countries, it is more or less the same.

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511761)

Actually, the higher price is probably also due to I18N translation costs, though that is certainly not the only reason.

Bollocks is it.

The only change they make for the UK is the date format and default currency symbol. Hell, even when you tell Windows that you're in the UK it still defaults to a US timezone and keyboard.

Re:So it will be cheaper to import even a single c (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511903)

But what about customs fees?

If there are significant customs and shipping fees, wouldn't they just manufacture and package the EU editions in the EU?

Yeesh.. (1)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511603)

So you buy Windows 7 ...

or.......

You could use Linux and spend the money you save on a a netbook.

Re:Yeesh.. (1)

Chi-RAV (541181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511773)

which will run Win7 Starter Ed.

And M$ will get busted by EU. AGAIN. (-1, Flamebait)

Etylowy (1283284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511611)

And it will end with yet another suit from EU against M$ being a nasty monopoly and guess what, they'll have to pay up - It's an economy crisis: eu budget could surely use come extra $$$ ;-)

Re:And M$ will get busted by EU. AGAIN. (2, Informative)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511745)

The EU as an entity has a yearly budget of around 140 billion Euros (~$200 billion) and that's not counting any of the individual states. I hardly think that a couple of hundred million from Microsoft is going to make such a huge impact financially that the EU is picking on them as a money-making exercise.

Standard conversion rate is USD=Euro (2, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511623)

Usually the conversion rate is 1 USD is 1 Euro. For example, look at the prices for video games. A $60 game consts 60 euros. Even Valve applies this conversion rate in Steam, and Apple for their store. It's extra income for the company. And most customers don't mind that much.

Of course there are some companies that want even more, for example the Rockband game in europe was 250% the price compared to the US retail price. EA said this was due to higher shipping rates (it's not like the other plasic toys from China cost that much).
But I guess that Microsoft went the same way (or as a retaliation to the fines they got), because they don't even do the $1=1 euro conversion. I bet they Blame it on localization. I'm sure that costs 85 euro per copy.

There's a fair chance this will hurt MS, because their TCO just went up a lot.

Re:Standard conversion rate is USD=Euro (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511665)

Fuck them, set your proxy to US and pay the proper price.

The same for Linux (5, Funny)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511627)

It costs twice as much in Europe as in the USA.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511639)

It will be 400$ for Europeans cause somehow they have to pay for the huge fines that EU has charged them.
Just like printing it!

And for Linux? (0, Offtopic)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511671)

That'll be 699 Euros, or $985.59... Cough it up, you deadbeats! We're not dead yet.

Re:And for Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511723)

Where's your sense of humor, you dumbshit?

Hey Guys... (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511699)

If you don't like the price, then don't buy it.

Don't pirate it either. Use something else.

But don't pirate it. If you do, you're doing what Microsoft considers "the next best thing" - ignoring alternatives. Alternatives scare the piss out of Microsoft. Back when Microsoft didn't have a stranglehold on the market, people were happy enough pirating 95 and 98, while ignoring things like BeOS and OS/2 (both competitively priced and more powerful) and it suited Microsoft and Bill Gates just fine.^1 Both OS/2 and BeOS are gone from the market because of piracy's market distortion.

Hopefully Windows 7 will come with an even more strict WGA and OGA to extract more pain from consumers. Maybe they'll wake up.

--
BMO

1. Of course, Microsoft executives prefer that people buy, but theft can build market share more quickly, as company co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates acknowledged in an unguarded moment in 1998.

"Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though," Gates told an audience at the University of Washington. "And as long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade." http://articles.latimes.com/2006/apr/09/business/fi-micropiracy9 [latimes.com]

Re:Hey Guys... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511777)

Hopefully Windows 7 will come with an even more strict WGA and OGA to extract more pain from consumers. Maybe they'll wake up

Microsoft better get Windows 7 right.
Getting WGA and a strict OGA will hurt Microsoft and not customers.
Microsoft is allowing installable ISO editions of its Windows 7. This is really Great!
I could buy online, download it online and install it.
BeOS failed because it did not coexist with anybody else.
OS/2 is still running ATMs. IBM pulled it from Retail because it realized that its strong point is mainframe.
Both of them did not go under because of piracy.
Get your facts right.

Typo in summary (0, Offtopic)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511701)

I know this is slightly offtopic, but who else noticed that it reads "WIndows 7" instead of "Windows 7" in the headline? (At the time I am writing this)

I want to know this because I suspect I might have a superpower.

Re:Typo in summary (0, Offtopic)

frenchbedroom (936100) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511799)

I must have that superpower too ! High five, dude ! _o/*\o_

I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511707)

If it costs $300 then why is the price in Euros not $300?

Do they have to pay the travel agent their conversion fee each sale?

If they said that the price was going to be 200Euros (if that were $300) but now because of the exchange rate it would have to be 250Euros (if that were the rate for $300) then I could understand.

But claiming exchange rate on a good when using the same currency is DUMB.

And people are swallowing this shit???

Why the UK/EU price difference? (5, Interesting)

sulimma (796805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511753)

Any customer in the EU is free to purchase from UK retailers.

If Microsoft tries to prevent this they could be fined by the comission. (Happend before to VW and others.)

Financial crisis, it's all good. (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511829)

I'm starting to like this financial crisis-thingy.

It drives up the price on Windows, it flushes out a lot of bad bank-decisions along with their inventors, it pummels the prices on housing (I'm renting my appartment, so nice market for me now), it makes people switch to Linux because it's free.

Really, it should be called "Financial Happy Times" or something.

What has the US price to to with the EU price? (1)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28511853)

If the euro price has already been established as ân*, the USD can fall to 5 bucks a euro if it wants; it doesn't make it any more expensive to buy in Europe except in people's imagination.
Americans are still paying the same price; Europeans are still paying the same price. The exchange rate goes down and Microsoft makes a windfall. Lucky Microsoft. :shrug:

*NOTE: "â" is slashdot's lame interpretation of the euro symbol.

#irc.tr0lltalk.com (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511877)

in a head spinning FILE WAS OPENED code sharing

Pay more for less? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511899)

Can they still get IE8 for free, or will Internet Explorer cost money if you have Windows 7?

Exchange rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28511921)

Has the exchange rates for souls recently changed? How about shirts?

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