Some of PC Advisor's 200,000+ forum members have created and signed up to a petition, asking the UK government to pressure Microsoft into reducing the UK price of Windows Vista.

The petition was started by PCA forum member 'Totally-braindead'. It asks Prime Minister Tony Blair to "bring pressure on Microsoft to stop them overcharging the UK for its Vista Operating System".

Windows Vista is indisputably more expensive in the UK than it is elsewhere in the world. A copy of Vista Home Basic costs £179.99 here, but only $191.99 in the US. That's a difference of around £82.39. Further up the scale the differences are more marked - Vista costs UK consumers around £95 and £157 more for copies of Home Premium and Ultimate respectively.

Speaking to forum editor Peter Thomas recently, Microsoft finance director Steve Dunn explained the price differential thus: "Microsoft wants to ensure transparent pricing for all its customers. Although the current dollar/pound exchange rate is high comparative to the beginning of 2006, it's not unprecedented in the context of fluctuations over the past few years.

"Other factors impact the price of Microsoft products, not least the costs incurred in delivering European packaging and settings plus the cost of marketing in many languages. And the scale and volume of the US market will drive a price differential."

PC Advisor forum members are not convinced - neither is this PC Advisor writer, for that matter.

To sign up to the petition, click here.

To comment on this issue, click here.