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Microsoft India hikes prices of products, services by up to 11%

Microsoft has quietly announced big price rises for its software and services in India.

“Due to currency fluctuations, Microsoft India is announcing Indian rupee pricelist changes to harmonize its prices for commercial on-premises software and online services between India and the Asian region, effective February 1, 2023,” states an undated announcement. A Microsoft spokesperson provided said announcement in response to The Register’s queries about advice to Microsoft partners mentioning – but not specifying – imminent price rises.

From February 1, 2023, Indian rupee prices for commercial on-premises software will increase by 4.5 percent, online services will increase by nine percent, and Get Genuine Windows Agreements will increase by 11 percent.

Microsoft says the price rises bring charges in India “close to prevailing USD pricing levels in the Asian region.”

“Microsoft periodically assesses the impact of its local pricing for software products and online services to ensure there is reasonable alignment across regions and this change is an outcome of this assessment,” the company’s announcement states.

Orders placed at current prices won’t be affected.

“Customers across India buying online services in Indian rupee will continue to find Microsoft cloud offerings highly competitive,” the company insists.

But the statement says nothing similar about on-prem software or Windows.

The price rises in India come after Microsoft announced a price review in Japan and South Korea but did not respond to The Register’s request for information.

Eight million more outsourced jobs coming to India, predicts minister
India’s minister for communications, electronics & information technology and railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw, has predicted the nation can attract eight million more jobs to its business process outsourcing sector in just two years.

Speaking at the launch of a startup promotion initiative, Vainshaw added the prediction that India’s push to establish itself as an electronics manufacturing power will add between two and three million jobs in the next two years.

The minister did not explain exactly how India will add eight million business process outsourcing jobs in such a short period of time. But India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) – the nation’s peak tech trade association and lobby group – recently published the prediction that the nation will attract 500 more global service centers by the year 2026, with many focusing on work from the front and middle offices instead of the back office work on which the industry made its name. US-based organizations continue to be the biggest operators and/or consumers of Indian business process outsourcing facilities, most of which are located in the cities of Bengaluru or Hyderabad. Simon Sharwood

APAC companies redesigning offices to lure workers back to their desks
Companies in Asia Pacific want their employees onsite, and 70 percent of them are planning office redesigns in the next 18 months to entice them there, according to IDC. The analyst firm reports that 25 percent of businesses are already engaged in a redesign, and the redesigns are taking up around eleven to 30 percent of company budgets. “Hybrid work is no longer debated. About 60 percent of employees prefer to work remotely, so the office must provide a comparable or even better experience for them when they are to come back in person,” said IDC’s research director Dr Lily Phan.

India becomes world’s biggest smartwatch market
India has overtaken China to become the world’s largest and fastest-growing smartwatch market, according to analyst firm Counterpoint.

The firm’s Global Smartwatch Model Tracker for Q3 2022 found India’s market grew 171 percent year-on-year and more than doubled its global market share – from 14 percent in 2022 to 30 percent this year.

Local brands Noise and FireBoltt dominate the Indian market with devices priced to suit local buyers. Holiday shopping saw both vendors experience sales surges that propelled India to the top of the global sales and growth charts.

Counterpoint describes the two Indian firms as vendors of “basic” smartwatches – devices that can’t install apps – and rated Noise as the planet’s top vendor of such products with 25.2 percent market share, ahead of Fire Boltt’s 24.6 percent.

In the high-level operating system (HLOS) market – for smartwatches that can install apps and have more bells and whistles – Apple has 50.6 market share. That puts it well clear of Samsung’s 22.3 percent. TheRegister

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