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.