Brits are used to shelling out double what Americans pay for gasoline, fast food, dry cleaning, and other everyday products and services. Now they'll also have to pay significantly more for the latest version of Adobe Acrobat.
In the United States, the professional version of the recently released Acrobat 9 sells for about $630. The U.K. edition of Acrobat 9 Pro Extended, available as a preorder on Adobe's British Web site, is priced at 727 pounds, or $1,424 U.S.
The price discrepancy isn't sitting well with U.K. computer users, who also have to pay more than most of the rest of the world for software from Microsoft and other vendors.
The British tech magazine PC Pro is refusing to recommend Acrobat 9 Pro Extended to its readers, even though it says it's "one of the best pieces of software to be released in the past five years" and that it breathes "new life into what we thought was a tired product."
Still, the publication says, "we've decided that it can't get a PC Pro Recommended award for one simple reason: in the U.S., it costs $699. In the U.K., it costs 619 [pounds]. With VAT, it actually costs 727 [pounds] -- more than the dollar price."
The magazine's readers are backing the decision. Michael Skidmore, in the comments section on PC Pro's Web site, complains that products in the United Kingdom are "ludicrously overpriced." Another, Alex Woodrow, says he won't use Acrobat 9 Pro in his small business. "The continual price rises mean I can no longer afford to do so," wrote Woodrow.
In a statement, Adobe said it sets prices in local markets based on "our costs of doing business, and customer research."
Brits unwilling to pay Adobe's U.K. prices could probably get their hands on the U.S. version without too much trouble, but they might encounter spell-check errors and other problems. After all, it's a horse of a different colour.