February 23, 2007 9:51 AM PST

Petition demands Vista price cuts in U.K.

As businesses and consumers grapple with Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista, one question is increasingly being asked. Why is it so much more expensive to buy Vista in the United Kingdom than in the United States?

Anger over the issue has prompted an electronic petition on a government Web site that acts as a forum for public petitions. In less than a day, it collected more than 1,250 signatures with a regular stream of people signing up throughout Friday morning.

The petition is posted on the 10 Downing Street section of the government site and will be sent to the prime minister's office after it closes on April 20. It calls on Tony Blair to put pressure on Microsoft, "to stop (it from) overcharging the U.K. for its Vista operating system."

It points out the "huge difference in the price that people in the U.S. and the U.K. are paying for Windows Vista," claiming that Vista Ultimate, the premium version, costs $683.80 (350 pounds) in the United Kingdom but can be bought for $293 (150 pounds) in the United States.

It's not clear where these figures come from, as retail prices for Vista vary. For example, according to the recommended retail prices on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, Vista Ultimate is pegged at $399.99 (203 pounds) in the United States, and $722.85 (369.99 pounds) in the United Kingdom.

For the purposes of the petition, the organizers have picked the most extreme difference in price between Vista in the United Kingdom and in the United States.

Generally, many versions of Vista are nearly twice as expensive in the United Kingdom as they are in the U.S. But Vista Home Basic, the version for people who qualify for an upgrade to Vista, costs $193 (99 pounds) in the United Kingdom and $159 (81 pounds) in the United States--a U.K. premium of almost 20 percent.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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37 comments

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1250,,,,whew
Too bad the population of Britain is 60 million people. They have a long way to go.
Posted by patkohler (34 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are You Forgetting That...
... Britain is also the Head of the British Commonwealth; so, when you total up the population of all the countries of the British Commonwealth what numbers do you get. They can at least very well establish software companies that parallels those of U.S. companies like the Microsoft Corporation if they can invest that much in supersonic aircraft industry and let things go belly-up! Further, as to why they are still bent on looking at the universe from the "inside of a box" is highly questionable.

Just Where In The World Are TIM BERNERS-LEES

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ibiblio.org/pioneers/lee.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.ibiblio.org/pioneers/lee.html</a>

"The World Wide Web (WWW) is so ubiquitous that it seems strange to think that it has only been around for a few years. Indeed, use of the WWW became widespread in the mid 1990's, but its beginnings can actually be traced back to 1980 when Tim Berners-Lee, an Englishman who had recently graduated from Oxford, landed a temporary contract job as a software consultant at CERN ( the famous European Particle physics Laboratory in Geneva). He wrote a program, called Enquire, which he called a "memory substitute," for his personal use to help him remember connections between various people and projects at the lab (Wright, 64). This was a very helpful tool since CERN was (and still is) a large international organization involving a multitude of researchers located around the world..."
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
Thats what they get
It doesn't matter what you pay for Vista, even if it is 0, you are getting ripped off.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why Is It That People In The United Kingdom....
... and the rest of Europe are so eager and willing to pay that much for Windows anyway when there are "LINUX" and "OS/2" (which they can aid its future enhancements given that VISTA is reportedly Code-Based OS/2)!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Funny
Cuz Linux and OS/2 suck as general consumer OS'es. And where the heck did you get that rumor about Vista being based upon OS/2 code?
Posted by spacydog (380 comments )
Link Flag
Before Or After
Are these prices Before Or After the VAT that the EU adds to imports ?
Posted by pgp_protector (122 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What do you expect?
If you are dumb enough to buy Vista, surely you can expect to be
swindled out of pocket mate.
Posted by sdp4462 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Could One Just Imagine...
... how "all of Europe" cannot come up with an OS that can just serve for the purposes of the businesses at hand (like WORKSPACE ON DEMAND) In any case, it is a "networked world" in which the world now lives; so, why pay for a bloated Operating System from which you there is no escape. Self "lock-in" you say!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
Gotta pay for those EU fines somehow!
Seriously though, the EU (and the UK by being a member of the EU) has partly brought this on themselves! They've made it much more difficult/expensive to operate there, so it's no surprise that the product costs more.

Also let's not forget VAT. The UK charges 17.5% VAT that is buried in the listed price, in the US any sales tax is ON TOP of the listed price. So really the difference of 20% for Vista Home Upgrade is really only 2.5%.
Posted by Hoser McMoose (182 comments )
Reply Link Flag
haha
good point
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Link Flag
Right On
You said it... the cost of doing business is higher, so the price to consumers will be higher.

Regardless, this will probably end with MS in front of the EU again... Not only do they want to define how the product should work, but also what it should cost. Absurd.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
The Issue With Regards To The "CONCORDE"!
Just what informs the judgement of the "stream of people signing" this petition that VISTA is worth its weight in gold when it could have done absolutely nothing to indicate that the CONCORDE should be kept flying. Now, how will one get from London to the sunny Caribbean in under three hours to see "World Cup Cricket" after which QE2, QM2.. whatever could have been boarded on the way back all for the price of one round trip ticket. There is a lot of business to be done with or without Windows Vista!

THE ENGINEERING ECONOMY, LOTUS NOTES 8.0 (HANNOVER) and AIRBUS 380 ARE OF MORE INTEREST YOU SAY!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
clue
Ah yes, the A380. What a POS. You have my sympathies
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Link Flag
"Demand"?!?!?!
I don't remember seeing anything in the news about Microsoft forcing people at gunpoint to buy Vista.

If people want to move to Vista, they should pony up the pounds, euro, whatever. If they find it to expensive, look for alternatives.

I just don't get all the ********.
Posted by scioara (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"ALTERNATIVES"?!?!?!
Often there are no alternatives. That's the problem with a monopoly.
Posted by logan1337 (22 comments )
Link Flag
Gas prices
I remember seeing a ton of news about the US complaining about gas prices when they went up. In the UK gas cost around $7-$8 a gallon. UK sales tax (VAT) is 17%. I think they have the right to comment on the cost of pretty much anything.
Posted by Mangokid (4 comments )
Link Flag
haha
Good Point
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ignore this,,
was meant to be a reply to another comment.
Posted by FutureGuy (742 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"VISTA" and the Legendary "CRICKET BAT"!
If the thing cannot help you in winning ways at international games/businesses (it is liable to break while in use) you simply test em all after which you choose the best. Why loose sleep, money and precious time on something that has not been fully put to use to see how it stands up in international "test" matches where it really counts!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Price of socialism
As Europe has veered sharply to the left over the years and embraced big-governemt socialism, they should expect to pay more. With a tax happy left-wing governments doing constant tax grabs from businesses, the higher cost of doing business has to ultimately be passed on to consumers. Either live with it and stop whining, or blame who deserves blaming, YOURSELVES! - for voting in those bums. Everything is way overpriced in Europe due to the cost of paying for cradle to grave socialism. You can't have it both ways.
Posted by C_G_K (169 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sure, but they benefit from the socialism
Standard of living, infant mortailty, capital crime, life expectancy,
more merit-based education system, longer vacation. Compare
those to the US.

I prefer the American system, but let's not pretent there aren't
benefits to the choices of our European ancestors (and Canadians,
among others).

If you think socialism is all bad, try living there.
Posted by Mark Greene (163 comments )
Link Flag
Sympathy
While I have great symathy for our cousins across the pond, they should have expected this. They are part of the EU. The EU seems to take great delight in trying to undermine and destroy a fine American company. We all know that countries like the U.K. and Germany fund the EU. A great American saying goes something like this. "You get what you pay for." You guys bought the EU. Now your paying for it.
Posted by suyts (824 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A rock and a hard place
Unfortunately, the UK doesn't have any realistic alternative to being
part of the EU and paying for it, whatever wishful thinkers and the
frail of mind here would have us believe. Apart from anything, the
US Government wouldn't have it any other way. I think most of us
would gladly up anchor and row the whole island over to your side
of the Atlantic, but until the technology exists to do that, we just
have to get on as best we can with our European neighbours.
Posted by eddy m (280 comments )
Link Flag
Fine American Company!! lol
Saying Micro$oft is a "fine" American company goes beyond what I can bear. One of the only things I agree with the EU is how they are demanding that M$ stop their predatory and anti-competitive business practices. This is legitimate as monopolies are a curse for consumers. This story, however, is about something different, and let's not confuse the issues...why the software is more expensive in the UK (and I suspect all over Europe) relative to the US (where it is still overinflated relative to other software). My experience is almost everything is more expensive in the UK and this is due to the fact that the goverment drains more out of the economy and this is reflected in the price of goods.
Posted by C_G_K (169 comments )
Link Flag
Facts?
Your comment didn't include any facts. You just spouted off how good you think the US is and that was pretty much it. What does being part of the EU have to do with anything? Does that mean that being part of NATO is the reason why our gas prices went up last year?
Posted by Mangokid (4 comments )
Link Flag
Facts?
Your comment didn't include any facts. You just spouted off how good you think the US is and that was pretty much it. What does being part of the EU have to do with anything? Does that mean that being part of NATO is the reason why our gas prices went up last year?
Posted by Mangokid (4 comments )
Link Flag
Just as there could be...
... a petition to demand "Vista price cuts in U.K..."; how about a petition to demand "faster" and "cheaper" modes of air travel from places in Europe!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Whiney Limeys
Anyone who has visited both countries could rattle off many examples of things that cost twice as much (or more!) in the UK than the US. Why do you think Britons make weekend shopping trips to New York? Because the savings pay for the flight. If Vista's not worth the price to you, use a different OS.
Posted by solrosenberg (124 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh Gee...
"Why do you think Britons make weekend shopping trips to New York?..." You have got to remember that was it not for the war of independence the United States as it is known today would still be a British colony; then, what is so wrong to in looking up your blood line on weekends; and, damn - would it not have been great to be able to make a round trip (5-6 hours) in the time it now takes on a one way trip without the CONCORDE.

Perhaps it is about time dat dem too start working out the ECONOMICS you say! Do ya not remember that Clinton Administration's campaign slogan?
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Link Flag
Americans in the uk
I see Americans all the time in london, yet i know only a small portion of Americans can afford to go to the UK on vacation so you are seeing a very small portion of the UK population that can afford to go to the US for shopping trips. Most of the people i've met in the UK have never been to the US and can't afford to do so.
Posted by Mangokid (4 comments )
Link Flag
They can charge whatever they want
Because alternatives exist, this should drive some outraged
customers elsewhere. Simple free-market mechanics.

It does strike me as whining when there's a petition such as this.

Why not petition for a switch to Linux or the latest Mac OS?

If MS is unfair, play your hand and make them suffer with your
pocket book.
Posted by Mark Greene (163 comments )
Reply Link Flag
UK is part of EU
Maybe if the EU wasn't imposing a multi billion dollar harrassment fine on MS it wouldn't cost more there. Something to think about.
Posted by Tecnoanalyst (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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