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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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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.


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