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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Offers 2010 Free Starter Edition for PC’s or Portable USB Key Installations

Lots of great alternatives to Microsoft’s deluxe office suite have emerged over the past few years, but if you find yourself only occasionally in need of a tool to edit Word or Excel files, the hefty $159 price tag for the full home and student edition can be a bit hard to justify. Google Docs or even Microsoft’s own online versions of office can help in a pinch, but nothing quite matches the native experience you get from running the desktop app. If the above scenario describes you, click here to download a copy of Office 2010 Starter Edition for absolutely free.

Aside from its ability to run offline, Office 2010 Starter isn’t any better than the free web-based offering Microsoft launched earlier in the year.. It includes little more than a stripped down version of Word / Excel 2010, but operates almost the same as the full editions. It does however open all modern office document formats offline, and offers up just about every tool a non-enterprise user needs.

It isn’t known if this direct download link will stick around for long, so if you find yourself interested, I’d grab it ASAP. Apparently this version can also be installed to a USB key, making it an incredible portable option that can be moved from PC to PC. Just launch the Office Starter To-Go Device Manager from All Programs -> Microsoft Office Starter. The files take up about 400MB of space, but will give you all of the offline power of Word and Excel wherever you need it.

It would be great to see Microsoft keep this free version of Office around for users who might otherwise opt for the online editions, but only time will tell if that was the intent. Either way I’d jump on it now before they change their mind.

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