Print 25 comment(s) - last by CENGJINYIWEI.. on Jan 31 at 8:09 AM

Microsoft reveals pricing for retail boxed, Product Key Card editions

When it comes to Microsoft's software products, it doesn't get much bigger than Windows and Office. On the Windows front, Microsoft had a hugely successful launch of Windows 7 in October of last year. The launch went off without a hitch and the operating system has been well received by consumers and ever-critical members of the press.

The next big software release from Microsoft will be Office 2010. The followup to Office 2007 is roughly six months aways and Microsoft is already revealing the pricing structure for the popular productivity suite.

The Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering blog lists standard (non-upgrade) pricing as follows:

Office Home and Student          $149     $119 (Retail Box/Product Key Card)
Office Home and Business         $279     $199
Office Professional                    $499     $349
Office Professional Academic     $99       N/A

Those that choose to go the "old fashioned" route and purchase a retail boxed copy will have to pay anywhere from $30 to $150 more to get a DVD, paperwork, and a fancy plastic case.

However, there is a huge downside for those that choose to go the "Product Key Card" route (this gives you an activation key which you must use after downloading a copy of Office directly from Microsoft). While retail boxed copies of Home and Student gives you the ability to install Office on three machines (Home and Business, Professional, and Professional Academic allow installs on two machines), the Product Key Card versions can only be installed on one machine.

If you plan on installing Office on more than one machine, the Product Key Card versions quickly lose their pricing advantage.

At this time, Microsoft has not announced upgrade pricing for Office 2010, but expect the details to be revealed closer to launch time. In the mean time, if you're one of the handful of people that haven't already tried the Office 2010 beta, you can grab it here.

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not bad
By Smilin on 1/6/2010 9:51:13 AM , Rating: 3
For the non-pro versions it doesn't seem bad. Given the massive feature set per app and number of apps included it's not too shabby. Being able to install on a couple of your machines with one copy is nice too.

Business pricing seems high but businesses will be buying VL and not full retail anyway.

RE: not bad
By ImSpartacus on 1/6/2010 10:04:14 AM , Rating: 2
The academic pricing kinda sucks. The Ultimate Steal had Office 2007 Pro at around $60.

But I guess beggars can't be choosers, right? It's still relatively cheap after all.

RE: not bad
By ImSpartacus on 1/6/2010 10:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
I retract my previous statement. The academic version looks like it actually comes in a box and everything. $100 is a steal for a retail-esque version of Office.

RE: not bad
By Lord 666 on 1/6/2010 10:45:43 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the $99 academic is awesome pricing for that package. Hoping they keep that price for the full run and not just as an introductory offer for limited time.

Been in both the pre-beta and beta for Office 2010 and its really a great product.

RE: not bad
By Spookster on 1/6/2010 12:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
I paid $9.95 for Office 2007 Enterprise edition. Got to love the Microsoft Home Use Program if your company has it.

RE: not bad
By dgingeri on 1/6/2010 2:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Amen to that. That's how I got Office 2003, Project Pro 2003, Office 2007, and Visio Pro 2007.

RE: not bad
By CENGJINYIWEI on 1/31/2010 8:09:25 AM , Rating: 1
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RE: not bad
By Belard on 1/6/2010 10:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
Usually stores like Costco and Sams will sell Office Home for $110~120 anyways. I've seen Office 2007 Home/Student go for $85 last year at Costco.

Not quite as good as a deal as office2003, but MS was smart to do so to keep business from using the STE versions. Most home users don't need Outlook. Webmail is more popular. And theres free PIMs that anyone can download that are very powerful if not better than Outlooks Calendar (but not the integration) such as Essential PIM ( thats like 5mb. So add that to your Office 2007 / 2010 and you're ready to go. :)

And those with no budget and need basic functionality for home, Open Office is very good. About the same as Office 2000 and then some... a Free 150mb download.

From what I've seen of O2010, nice tweaks and improvements over O2007.

RE: not bad
By quiksilvr on 1/6/2010 12:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
You can also get Office Enterprise for $30 if you are a college student. So get yourself a college buddy :D

RE: not bad
By dgingeri on 1/6/2010 2:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
I tried doing my Resume on OpenOffice a while back, but it introduced formatting issues when opened on a regular version of Word 2003. I decided back then that OpenOffice was not for me.

RE: not bad
By Smilin on 1/12/2010 11:25:51 AM , Rating: 2
I hear ya.

OpenOffice after all these years is a chunk. It still feels on par with Office '97.

I'm running Office 2010 right now and it's *obvious* it's written by the worlds largest software company who pours millions of bucks into development.

RE: not bad
By LANDRY1986 on 1/6/10, Rating: -1
RE: not bad
By monkeyman1140 on 1/12/2010 3:47:59 PM , Rating: 2
The entire suite is worth $99, period. The price point for office suites was set long ago, Microsoft just prices its product based on its monopoly status.

Seems a Bit Much
By wjordan on 1/6/2010 12:14:24 PM , Rating: 1
I'm surprised that Microsoft is still charging so steeply for their Office suite. Recently a large % of my work has been in converting Office installations to Open Office and many other clients have gone completely with Google Docs (my preference as well).

With so many companies needing to trim costs it doesn't make a lot of sense to continue paying Microsoft licensing fees when the open-source/free community has so much to offer. The only situation I've seen where it still applies is in Accounting departments that have a heavy reliance on Excel and have written some Michaelangelo quality spreadsheets. Outside of that the majority of clients I see don't take advantage of all the features available in the MS Office suite and switching to Open Office is virtually painless in all cases.

Personally, I feel that if Google can upgrade their spreadsheet so that it rivals Excel and Open Office, they can easily take over this market. They did things right by introducing people first to Gmail, then Docs - and the world slowly learned to use easy document sharing and real-time collaboration. Now with Google Wave coming online I think that it's going to be a slam dunk for Google in the coming years as people begin embracing that technology.

If you're reading this article and are seriously considering put out your hard-earned dollars for a copy of Microsoft Office, do yourself a favor and consider the alternatives first. Open Office is free and does essentially the same thing, plus it's compatible with all MS Office document types and can be easily configured to save all it's documents using the MS Office extensions.

RE: Seems a Bit Much
By HrilL on 1/6/2010 12:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
There is some slight compatibility issues with .docx files when writing(can't write to them) Maybe this has been fixed but for for the most part it works and if the older formats is works just as good.

RE: Seems a Bit Much
By FlyTexas on 1/6/2010 12:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
I've used OpenOffice... I currently use Office 2007. There really is no comparison, Office 2007 is easier to use, more powerful, and compatable with everything.

Yes, Office 2007 costs money, OpenOffice does not, however if you use it often and/or have business reasons for doing so, the cost is really minor (less than $100 for most people buying the Home edition).

Now, I have tried Google Docs a bit, but not enough to comment on it. It isn't Office, but it does work in a pinch. I can see how that is the future, and I think Microsoft knows it, they'll have that option soon enough.

Of course, I use Gmail, so I do like Google, but I'm not ready to give up Office just yet.

RE: Seems a Bit Much
By stromgald30 on 1/6/2010 12:55:50 PM , Rating: 3
It really depends on how you use Office. At most large companies, MS Office has features that are essential. I've tried OpenOffice in 2009 after years of using MS Office, and unless you're a novice or need only the most basic tools, there is no comparison to MS Office.

Similarly with GoogleDocs. It's feature set is probably less than 20% of that of MS Office. Again, it really depends on what you're using the software for, but most mid to large companies would suffer if they switched to either OpenOffice or GoogleDocs.

I'm not bashing Google or Sun for their office suites and would gladly welcome competition for MS Office, but right now, IMHO MS Office has no real competition for those who can leverage many of its features.

RE: Seems a Bit Much
By JediJeb on 1/6/2010 3:48:38 PM , Rating: 3
I don't do web publishing or graphic design so OpenOffice works great for me. I really haven't found anything I can't do in it that I would do in MS Office. The only reason we upgraded at work to Office07 was because some clients didn't know how to save as to an Office2k format and we couldn't read the .docx files they were sending us.

I haven't seen any advantage in Office07 yet, but then everything I need to do I can do in less than ten keyboard shortcuts. I also hate how it takes longer to load up now than the older versions. It also helped once I figured out how to minimize the ribbon, since most functions I need are on my quick access bar and I almost never use the ribbon for anything. For me it just takes up space I could be using to view my document. Other than those things I really can't tell a difference between any of the versions of Office, so a new one isn't very exciting.

RE: Seems a Bit Much
By damianrobertjones on 1/6/2010 4:28:47 PM , Rating: 3
Personally, some of Googles older EULA's should scare people away from Google Docs

By Taft12 on 1/6/2010 12:43:13 PM , Rating: 4
I will give OpenOffice credit for driving home user pricing of Office 2007 and 2010 way down (as well as being a very capable office sofware suite in its own right)

MS Office used to cost much much more prior to the newer versions.

Release date?
By Marlonsm on 1/6/2010 1:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
Any idea on when it'll be available, or at least when the Office 2007 buyers will get free upgrades to Office 2010?

RE: Release date?
By supergarr on 1/7/2010 2:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
My college has a program where you can get the professional edition for free. Well, it's actually a microsoft program that the school is a part of. You can also get development software like Visual Studio and SQL

some good some bad.
By rudy on 1/6/2010 2:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
I am glad onenote now comes with all versions it was stupid that the pro versions never had it. Personally though I still think M$ makes a mistake they should give everyone everything for the same price and make it reasonable. Lots of people in the business and univeristy do not use one note because it is not included and in the end that hurts M$ since people find other programs to do things for free. Why not put outlook in the home version? You want people to use it right? Otherwise like me they are just going to use gmail which already has a calander and reminders and everything else.

RE: some good some bad.
By hellokeith on 1/6/2010 9:08:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'll give you my OneNote and Outlook if you'll give me your Access.

MS should let people pick and choose which apps they want.

Product Key Card Version
By HrilL on 1/6/2010 12:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly like how they currently sell OEM software. You purchase the key and have to download the iso from the OPK program as OEM keys do not work with retail or downloaded trial versions. They will however work to activate pre-installed copies of office that comes with a new computer you buy.

There could have the same limitations as OEM does and that is that you can only install it on one machine and that one machine only. You get a new computer and you need a new copy of office. This works fine for a business as you likely won't be changing what computers office is installed on. By the time it is time to replace the machine a new version of office will be out anyway. It saves about $100-120 compared to going retail and even more compared to volume licensing when once license will run you 600 for office 2007 small business with software assurance. If you get software assurance at the start of a products life you end up paying for it 2 times and get nothing. If you got it at the end you end up paying for office 2007 and 2010 at once. Its no deal at all. It would be cheaper to get OEM office 2008 small business for $227 and office 2010 when it comes out for around the same price if you can live with the limitation of only having that copy of office installed on just one machine and not being able to change it a different machine. Both has its pros and cons I guess but every version of OS or office M$ changes their licensing to rape you even harder then they did the release before that.

Maybe its time to roll out open office and save the 10k or so that it would take to get 40 people office at the OEM price. Volume licensing would be 20k or so for 40 people but you can uninstall and reinstall as much as you want and you don't need a manage 40 different keys. But one excel spreadsheet makes it pretty easy to manage them. The other half of our company is already using open office. Now to convince the higher ups... But I guess the amount of time lost added up for everyone learning open office(not that it is that different) would be about the same as the cost of office in the first place. M$ knows they got us by the balls on this one.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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