Microsoft’s Surface Book laptops are costing more in the UK due to Brexit’s adverse effect on the pound, and that’s only part of the probelm the company is facing.
Microsoft rolled out higher prices in the UK for its Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, and some consumer software yesterday. All configurations of the Surface Book, for example, are now £150 ($187) more expensive than they used to be. The Surface Book now starts at £1,449, up 11.5 percent from the former £1,299 price tag.
“In response to a recent review we are adjusting the British pound prices of some of our hardware and consumer software in order to align to market dynamics,” a Microsoft spokeswoman told TechCrunch.
The price rise only applies to products bought by consumers or organizations without volume licensing agreements. Microsoft is leaving final prices for products sold by its partners up to them to set.
Microsoft in January also raised prices by up to 22 percent for organizations paying in sterling for its software and services. It announced the rises shortly after the pound hit a 31-year low against the US dollar last October, following Brexit.
As noted by Neowin, prices for all variants of the Surface Pro 4 except the entry-level model are now between two percent and 12 percent higher.
Several major tech brands have announced significant price rises in response to the Brexit-weakened pound. Apple has increased the price of laptops in the UK and in January raised app prices by 25 percent. Sonos this week announced its prices would rise by up to 25 percent from February 23.
Currency fluctuations are probably the simplest challenge Brexit poses for Microsoft, which urged Brits to vote to stay in the EU. Microsoft has opened several new datacenters in the UK and across Europe to support its move to the cloud, but in January warned that if tariffs on datacenter equipment made outside the UK suddenly rose, it may build future datacenters elsewhere in Europe rather than the UK.
Its other concern is whether it will face cross-border data-transfer problems post-Brexit. However, Microsoft is hopeful that Brexit will open the door to bringing in more skilled labour from outside Europe.