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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Microsoft announces Office 2010 pricing

MICROSOFT HAS CHOSEN CES week, the time when exciting announcements are usually made, to provide us with details of its Office 2010 pricing.

Yeah, no skateboarding music player mobile phone for Microsoft, rather the exciting news out of Redmond is that its Office 2010 applications suite is nearly out of beta and on release will be available in four different versions.

Micrsoft expects sales to be high. It said that in just seven weeks, more than two million people around the world have downloaded the beta version. To get a better appreciation for that number, says Rachel Bondi, general manager of Microsoft Office, "it's a rate of more than 40,000 downloads per day. That's approximately twice the number of people who run the Boston Marathon each year, or the entire population of Olympia, WA, or Annapolis, MD, downloading the Office 2010 beta every day!" Wow, two Boston Marathons. That really puts it into context.

Office 2010 will be released in four versions, Office Home and Business, Office Professional, Office Home and Student, and Office Professional Academic, and they will cost $279, $499, $149, and $99, respectively. Product key card versions are also available and cost a little less, presumably since they do not require boxing and all that other non-green stuff.

Unlike the other options, this can only be used on one machine, however, while for example the home and business, and professional editions can be installed on two.

Most interestingly however, the Vole said it will drop all discounted 'upgrade' pricing for customers who previously bought earlier versions of its Office productivity suite. This will in effect amount to a hefty price increase for a lot of users.

We imagine that this decision by Microsoft will drive more people to download the free - and interoperable with Microsoft Office - Open Document Format (ODF) alternative,


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