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.
Office 2010 Engineering blog lists standard (non-upgrade) pricing
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.