Monday, January 14, 2013

Microsoft increases price of Outlook from $189 to $209.

In the past I’ve sometimes recommended to clients to purchase Outlook if they don’t have it installed. At $189 (based on Microsoft’s online price) it was a bit of an ask, but now the price seems to have increased to $209. I’m not sure what Microsoft’s strategy is. They could be increasing the price of packaged software so the price of their subscription software appears to be much better. They may be trying to stop business users from purchasing the home edition of Office and then adding Outlook. They could simply be increasing the price knowing that if you need Outlook then you’ll pay the extra money.

I still use Outlook as my main email client, but the amount of time I use Outlook is growing less by the day. Mobile devices have an adequate email client built in, and I use my mobile devices much more than I use a notebook and I now rarely use an old desktop computer except for testing. How things have changed.

My dependency on Outlook is changing as time goes on. I’ve now set up my email so I can access email equally across my mobile phone, a tablet or the notebook computer. I can access exactly the same emails (including Inbox, Sent items and Deleted items) on  all devices and when travelling, if a mobile device isn’t sufficient I can use web mail (a pretty ordinary open source product called Squirrel mail but it is sufficient).

Companies generally know they can increase their prices and the loss of customers will be less than the revenue increase, that is until people get sick of the price increases and decide it is time to move on. A ten per cent price increase generally means to be worse off a company needs to lose around twenty five per cent of their customers and generally that doesn’t happen. But it can happen if a consumer has choice.

Microsoft needs to be very careful with increasing prices at this time. I’d certainly find it hard now to suggest that people purchase a stand-alone copy of Outlook unless there was a very specific business need.

It has taken me a long time to determine an effective way to set up email across multiple devices where it works on Apple, Android and Microsoft software, but now that I have and I can provide this service to clients, Microsoft’s market domination starts to diminish. Microsoft bought the market early on by undercutting the market on pricing. Now others may end up doing the same to Microsoft. Microsoft can only increase prices for so long before people decide to look around.

Most small businesses with their own site and email services often have the email facilities they need to have their email web based with access via desktop and mobile devices. Set up can be very tricky if you don’t have the knowledge. For me to have the ability to check email across any device without having to resort to using products such as Microsoft Live, Gmail, Yahoo mail or even Hotmail (which is a poor approach for business) means I have control over my email services being in my own business domain and access from any device.

New technology means new opportunities and new ways to do things. If you’re not happy with your software price increase perhaps it is time to consider reviewing some of the software tools you are using. Some will find they are too locked in to change, but others may find lower cost methods to achieve the same or better result.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 of you require computer support.
Servicing Doncaster, Templestowe, Eltham and the surrounding area.

PS. The Microsoft online store lists Outlook for $209. Shop around and you’ll find you can usually do better.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.