Microsoft has hit back at claims that it would be leaving the UK following Brexit
Microsoft has denied reports that it is considering scaling down its UK business following the Brexit decision.
The computing giant spoke out after an employee claimed that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union would make Microsoft choose to expand elsewhere in Europe.
Instead, Microsoft stated that it has no plans to leave the UK, and that it is still hoping to continue with its “significant” investment in the country.
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Microsoft was forced to step in after Owen Larter, the company’s UK’s government affairs manager, had said that the company could build future data centres on the continent if the Uk introduced high import tariffs.
Larter had told customers in a video conference that the company had, “some concerns” about needing to see “the UK getting right as part of the Brexit process” in order to see a “bright future” for the UK tech sector.
However he added that, “That bright future will not be possible if we cannot transfer data into UK data centres.”
“If all of a sudden there are huge import [tariffs] on server racks from China or from Eastern Europe, where a lot of them are actually assembled, that might change our investment decisions and perhaps we build out our data centres across other European countries.”
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Microsoft issued an official statement hours after Larter’s declaration, saying that the Brexit decision had not affected its position towards the UK in any way.
The company said, “As we have said both before and after the EU referendum vote, Microsoft’s commitment to the UK is unchanged.”
“In particular, those customers in our UK data centres should continue to rely on Microsoft’s significant investment plans there.”
Microsoft currently partners with around 25,000 British business, and currently employs more than 5,000 people in the UK across a wide variety of fields.
The company counts the likes of the Ministry of Defence among its cloud computing customers, and expects its user base to keep growing as more and more customers choose to move their businesses to the cloud.
The news comes shortly after Microsoft raised the price of its cloud computing services in the UK by more than 20 per cent as it looked to combat the fall in the value of the pound.
The move will help “harmonise prices” across Europe, Microsoft said, adding that it had carried out a similar move in both Norway and Switzerland.
Similar rises will also affect customers in India, Argentina and Mexico, although customers with existing orders or licensing agreements will be protected from the rises – at least until they need to renew their subscription.
Microsoft has said it will need to raise some prices to cope with the effects of Brexit
Microsoft is one of several major technology companies to say it will raise prices following the Brexit decision.
Last year, Lenovo, this world's largest PC manufacturer, said that it would also be introducing a 10 per cent price rise across its computer range, with Dell also revealed a similar rise.
Asus, another of the world’s leading laptop makers, confirmed it would be raising prices by around nine percent from October.
This will mean that anyone looking to buy a new Asus PC now could find themselves paying far more than previous months.