Report: Microsoft Office Starter 2010 being phased out

If you buy a new PC anytime in the near future, you may not have a pre-installed version of Microsoft Office Starter 2010 on the hard drive anymore. ZDNet.com reports that Microsoft has begun to phase out the availability of Microsoft Office Starter 2010 to its OEM partners.

Office Starter 2010 consisted of basic versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel that the company offered to PC makers. Office Starter 2010 was also ad-supported. The idea was for Microsoft to offer this restricted version of Microsoft Office in the hopes that users would buy the full featured version.

The blog states, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft will now instruct its OEM partners to use Office Web Apps as the replacement for Office Starter 2010. These are web based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Meanwhile, the world awaits the first public beta launch of "Office 15", the next major version that will likely get the name Microsoft Office 2013 when it is officially released. ZDNet says that the public beta of Office 2013 could launch in just a few weeks, perhaps sometime in July. The Office 2013 Home and Student edition will be installed inside the Windows RT version of the Microsoft Surface tablet.

Source: ZDNet

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19 Comments

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It takes a second or two to launch Office 2010 Starter edition (either Word or Excel) on most any modern laptop - I'm on a Dell Latitude D630 with 4GB of RAM running Windows 7 Pro x86 and a 5400 rpm hard drive and either app loads in under 2 seconds, it's done.

As for "bombards you with commercials," oh please. It shows one single ad in the lower right-hand corner of the screen when either app is loaded and running - the ad is less "bombarding" than 99% of the Flash ads people are forced to view online these days unless they use some adblocking plugin or software (or they block Flash applets which isn't such a bad idea overall).

I mean really, if you're gonna comment on something, at least have something to base it on.

"bombards you with commercials" != a 200x200 advertisement that changes about once every 5 minutes, I assure you.

As a OEM System Builder, we had to pay a small royalty fee to MS in order to legally pre-install the Office 2010 Starter Edition on new builds. Guess how many licenses we bought? Big fat ZERO. Why the heck should I have paid them to pre-install it, they would have gotten their cut if someone bought the full version key or what not. Too many of my customers who bought big name boxes with it pre-installed B&M's over it when it stopped working as a full version after xx days of the trial. Thank goodness it's going away in the current form.

ir0nw0lf said,
As a OEM System Builder, we had to pay a small royalty fee to MS in order to legally pre-install the Office 2010 Starter Edition on new builds. Guess how many licenses we bought? Big fat ZERO. Why the heck should I have paid them to pre-install it, they would have gotten their cut if someone bought the full version key or what not. Too many of my customers who bought big name boxes with it pre-installed B&M's over it when it stopped working as a full version after xx days of the trial. Thank goodness it's going away in the current form.

Office Starter does not expire, since it's not a trial. Stop with the lies.

floopydoodle said,

Office Starter does not expire, since it's not a trial. Stop with the lies.

The trial version OEMs install creates a wizard for first time use, you can choose to run the starter edition, use a trial of office or enter a license key. If they choose the trial it will expire, and users being users, they don't read the messages which tell them how to revert back to starter edition, they just moan it doesn't work anymore.

this isn't a dig at MS, more users if anyone, but mainly its just me telling you how it works from my experience.

oliver182 said,
So they are just going to place shortcuts to the office web apps on the desktop?

Oddly Wordpad seems to open .docx files but not .doc

McKay said,

Oddly Wordpad seems to open .docx files but not .doc


That's right.
What impresses me about Wordpad is that you can open .docx protected documents.

Jose_49 said,

That's right.
What impresses me about Wordpad is that you can open .docx protected documents.

Nope WordPad can't open password protected docs. Word in Office Starter can open protected documents but not Save.

I had that installed on my Vaio, it's terrible, Word takes literally 2 minutes to open, and then bombards you with commercials. Wish I hadn't given out my other 2 2010 licenses and then bought a new computer, I can't recover my 1st license.

McKay said,
I had that installed on my Vaio, it's terrible, Word takes literally 2 minutes to open, and then bombards you with commercials. Wish I hadn't given out my other 2 2010 licenses and then bought a new computer, I can't recover my 1st license.

You have a crappy laptop.

Mine launches in 2 seconds.

thenonhacker said,

You have a crappy laptop.

Mine launches in 2 seconds.

I have a 2.8Ghz i7, 6GB of RAM, the full version of office launched in seconds. But great jumping right to assumptions. It couldn't possibly be when Word sticks on "Getting Word ready" for 2 minutes there might be something wrong with it.

McKay said,

I have a 2.8Ghz i7, 6GB of RAM, the full version of office launched in seconds. But great jumping right to assumptions. It couldn't possibly be when Word sticks on "Getting Word ready" for 2 minutes there might be something wrong with it.

Either it's first time launching or you are so dumb to manage your laptop.

McKay said,

I have a 2.8Ghz i7, 6GB of RAM, the full version of office launched in seconds. But great jumping right to assumptions. It couldn't possibly be when Word sticks on "Getting Word ready" for 2 minutes there might be something wrong with it.


On mine, the "Getting ready" part only occured the first time Office Starter launched. After that, 2-3 seconds to launch.

McKay said,
I had that installed on my Vaio, it's terrible, Word takes literally 2 minutes to open, and then bombards you with commercials. Wish I hadn't given out my other 2 2010 licenses and then bought a new computer, I can't recover my 1st license.

It uses App-V, your laptop might be slow. It starts up nearly instantly and updates automatically. And bombarding with ads? There's a tiny ad on the right column task pane, that's it, no other ads. It's actually very good, good enough to cost MS revenue of paid Office which is probably the real reason they are discontinuing it. The Web apps suck.

McKay said,
I had that installed on my Vaio, it's terrible, Word takes literally 2 minutes to open, and then bombards you with commercials. Wish I hadn't given out my other 2 2010 licenses and then bought a new computer, I can't recover my 1st license.

There is nothing in the basic version that makes it take longer to open, must be your laptop or install gone bonkers.

McKay said,
I had that installed on my Vaio, it's terrible, Word takes literally 2 minutes to open, and then bombards you with commercials. Wish I hadn't given out my other 2 2010 licenses and then bought a new computer, I can't recover my 1st license.

Let me guess, you turned it on once and never occurred to you that IT MIGHT BE DOING SOME INSTALLING, like what most program does when they are opened the first time. So how many times you opened Starter? Once? Because either you have a faulty computer, or you are simply lying to get your agenda across. Office Starter starts in 4 seconds in my Atom netbook.

Eddo89 said,

Let me guess, you turned it on once and never occurred to you that IT MIGHT BE DOING SOME INSTALLING, like what most program does when they are opened the first time. So how many times you opened Starter? Once? Because either you have a faulty computer, or you are simply lying to get your agenda across. Office Starter starts in 4 seconds in my Atom netbook.

Nope, what Agenda would I have? I went out and bought Office 2010 Student afterwards. Word Starter would take 1-2 minutes to open everytime. Either it's **** or Sony Bodged the install when they pre-loaded it.