Microsoft to dump upgrades, trim retail editions for Office 2010

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Microsoft LogoMicrosoft Office 2010, the upcoming edition of the popular office suite, is set to dump the upgrade version – which have a lower price so users who have an earlier edition upgrade to the new version. This comes after Microsoft released the pricing for Office 2010.

As well, it has trimmed the number of retail editions from five to three – Home and Student, Home and Business, Professional. Office 2010 Home and Student, which will feature Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, will have a price tag of US$149 or US$119 for the key card – Microsoft’s new method of allowing users to upgrade from Office 2010 Starter to the four versions.

Office 2010 Home and Business, which adds Outlook to the four apps found in Home and Student, will cost US$249 or US$199 for the key card; while Professional, which adds Publisher and Access, will leave you US$499 less in the bank, or US$349 for the key card.

There will also be a Professional Academic, which is the same as Professional but has been heavily discounted since it has a price tag of US$99. However, like all Academic versions, it is limited to K-12 and college students, staff and faculty. There will be no key card for this version.

But what is the use of key cards? New PCs will now feature Office 2010 Starter Edition and will have reduced functionality versions of Word and Excel, and will have advertisements in the lower-right-hand corner that will disappear once you, obviously, upgrade – with the use of the key cards.

Office 2010, according to Computer World, is to debut in June of next year. It also notes that a Microsoft spokeswoman said that a promotion will happen before Office 2010’s release that will give buyers of Office 2007 on a specific time period before launch day a change to get a heavily-discounted or free version of Office 2010.

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