Microsoft offers PC makers Office Starter for $2, but with Bing bar

Microsoft is planning to offer PC manufacturers $2 per copy of Microsoft Office Starter 2010, if they pre-install the Bing bar and Windows Live Essentials, according to zdnet.

PC makers can also opt to not install the Bing bar and Windows Live Essentials, but will pay $5 per copy of Microsoft Office Starter 2010.  A significant price difference when PC makers are purchasing licenses in very large quantities.

Microsoft strategy is to get their Bing search engine and other Windows tools, found in Windows Live Essentials like Movie Maker, Live messenger, Mail, Writer, etc onto PCs, increasing their marketshare for their products.  The installation will also set the default search engine on the users browser to Bing, and MSN as their homepage.

oem-office-2010

Note the acryonom use, OPC is OEM Partner Central, H&S is Home and Student, H&B is Home and Business, Pro is Professional. OPK is OEM Preinstallation Kit, the Office single image that OEM manufactures use to pre-load Office 2010 onto new PCs.

Microsoft will also be releasing Microsoft Office 2010 single-license key cards, which won't actually contain any data on them, other than a serial key.  These key cards will be available in major retail stores, which will active Office 2010 on customers PCs.  Microsoft Office Starter 2010 comes with an ad-based version of Word and Excel, with limited functionality.  Users can unlock their copy of Office at any time.

image courtesy of zdnet

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