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Microsoft, Apple Schtum On ‘Price Gouging’

The software giant said it was not commenting on the issue when contacted by Smarthouse yesterday, as fellow tech company Adobe cut the prices of its Cloud suite by 20%, in the wake of the price gouging that has implicated the tech giants in Oz.

Microsft Australia also refused to comment when we asked the spokesperson if they were planning to drop the prices of its software, like Adobe.

Apple, Adobe and Microsoft were all being summoned to the parliamentary IT pricing inquiry which is investigating possible price goughing of Aussie consumers, it emerged this week.

Apple too are making zero noise about the affair and said “we will be making no comment at this time,” according to a spokesperson.

Maybe they are hurriedly getting their PR spin together as Adobe did when its sent its global CEO to Sydney yesterday to face the media who had plenty of questions for him.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen had a less than happy experience at yesterday’s opening of the graphics and design company’s new Australian HQ in Darling Park, Sydney.

All Narayen and local CEO Paul Robson wanted to talk about was the wonderful new office and demo suite with cinema seating and surround sound.

All the press wanted to discuss was the hugely disproportionate prices Adobe continues to put on its boxed software in Australia, compared to American pricing – eg, Creative Suite Master Collection at US$2599 (A$2514) in the States, $4344 in Australia, or an $1830 difference in Aussie dollars.

It’s enough, as consumer group Choice has pointed out, to make it cheaper to fly to the US and pick up a copy there – a claim repeated this week by Luke Hopewell on Gizmodo and the News Ltd press.

The media charge at yesterday’s bunfight was led by Web site Delimiter’s René LeMay, who repeatedly asked Narayen for the reasoning behind the discrepancy – only to meet repeated stonewalling by the Adobe boss, who rambled on instead about the great value of the new monthly subscription based version, Creative Cloud – which is now based almost identically with the US.”I’m sorry, sir – you’re really not answering my questions,” interjected René, though he still didn’t get an answer.

Paul Robson sought to change the subject, calling for questions about the new offices – but only scored more about pricing. The Q&A session was politely called off.But René wasn’t finished.

Back at Delimiter he posted a 1500-word rant on the affair, which he termed a “farce”, plus a video of Narayen batting back René’s questions.