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Monday, December 20, 2010

Different Editions of Microsoft Office 2010

Launched in November of 2006, Microsoft launched Office 2007 at the same time it launched Windows Vista. Whereas Vista was more or less a marketing bust for the company, Office 2007 went on to become the most successful version of Office to date.

office 2010

Late last year, Microsoft promised a release date of “the middle of 2010” for the newest version of Office. Appropriately named Office 2010, we learned in January that the newest version of Office will be available in June of this year.

Over 3 and a half years after the release of Office 2007, Office 2010 will make its debut with a total of four retail editions. Microsoft decided to simplify things a bit since the 8 editions of Office 2007 were a bit more than consumers could easily understand. Read on to learn about the four retail versions of Office 2010 and the expected pricing of each.

Boxed and Product Key Cards

Retail versions of Office 2010 will be available in two forms. The traditional retail boxed form is how all previous versions of Office have been purchased since the introduction of the software. New Product Key Cards allow buyers to unlock Office 2010 that has been pre-installed on a new PC.

Office 2010 Product Key Card

However, these two forms come with one caveat. Retail boxed versions will be licensed for installation on two PCs while the Product Key Card form will be licensed for installation on one PC only. The one exception is the Home and Student edition which is licensed for installation on up to three PC.
Office 2010 Editions and Pricing

At the top of the list is Office 2010 Professional that is marketed toward the high-end home and home office user. With the boxed retail version scheduled to cost US$499 and the Product Key Card priced at US$349, some significant savings can be had for opting to avoid the purchase of a physical product.

The Professional edition of Office 2010 contains Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access. Notice that only the Professional edition of 2010 ships with Access 2010.

office 2010 student

Next in line is the Home and Business edition, new to the Office lineup. At US$279 for the retail box and US$199 for the Product Key Card, you can still save quite a bit of money by choosing the download version.

Office 2010 Home and Business ships with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. This edition is aimed at middle-of-the-road consumers such as small business owners who would enjoy the scheduling and organization features of Outlook.

For Office 2007, Home and Student was the most popular edition. This is likely a tradition that will carry over to Office 2010. Home and Student ships with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote and is aimed at mainstream users of productivity software.

At just US$149 for the retail box and US$99 for the Product Key Card, this edition is clearly the best bargain in the bunch.

Finally, Office Professional 2010 Academic edition is licensed only for use by educators and students. Available in campus bookstores and some retail outlets, you must meet Microsoft’s lofty requirements before you can legally use the Academic edition.

Containing the same programs as the full retail Professional edition, this edition is the biggest bargain if you qualify for a license. At just $99, the savings on this edition just may make it worth going back to college.

Simplifying matters for consumers, Microsoft has backed off on the number of planned editions of Office 2010. Due in June of 2010, consumers can save significantly by choosing to purchase a Product Key Card rather than the full retail boxed version of the software when buying a new PC.

Remember, however, that with the exception of the Home and Student edition, the boxed versions are licensed for two PCs and the Product Key Card versions are licensed for one PC only.

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