The move will effectively raise the price for many users who want to migrate from older editions of the popular suite. Microsoft's trimmed the number of retail editions of Office for the general public to three, down from Office 's five. The SKU Microsoft added to the retail line today is Professional Academic, an edition available to K and college students, staff and faculty. No key card option will be available for the academic edition. Microsoft is making changes to more than the suite's editions, however.
A company spokeswoman confirmed today that Microsoft does not plan to offer separate upgrade editions for Office That's a major departure from the past; Microsoft Office 2010 Software Prices traditionally sold upgrades at prices significantly less than the so-called "full" editions, which are designed for installing the suite on a PC sans Office. Office Professional will cost even more than the corresponding Office edition with the elimination of upgrade pricing. New with OfficeMicrosoft's product key card -- a small credit card-sized piece of plastic that includes a single license activation key -- is aimed at customers who have purchased a new PC with Office Starter preinstalled.
Starter, which replaces the decades-old Microsoft Office 2010 Software Prices suite, includes reduced functionality versions of Word and Excelbut lacks the PowerPoint Office 2010 Software Prices OneNote applications available on Home and Student. All the code for Home and Student, Home and Business, and Professional are installed on new PCs that offer Officer Starter; the key simply "unlocks" the appropriate version, eliminating the need to download additional software.
Office Starter will include on-screen advertisements in the lower-right-hand corner of the Word and Excel windows; those ads, of course, vanish when a key card and its product activation key are used to upgrade to one of the paying editions. Microsoft will also offer two other SKUs to its volume license corporate customers: Those two editions will not be sold Office 2010 Software Prices retail. Office is scheduled to debut in Office 2010 Software Prices. The Microsoft spokeswoman said that the company would offer a promotion at some point before its release that will give buyers of Office a free or heavily-discounted copy of the new Office when it launches.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter gkeizersend e-mail at gkeizer ix. When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.