Microsoft announces new ways to try and buy Office 2010

Microsoft have today announced their new vision for Microsoft Office 2010.

Being the premium choice as a productivity application, with 500 million people worldwide using Microsoft Office - including businesses to students - Microsoft are eager to provide the end user with "more choice and flexibility" in how they can try, buy and experience Office 2010 on new and existing PCs.

This manifests itself firstly with a Product Key Card to help consumers more easily access and experience Office 2010 on new PCs that have been pre-loaded with Office 2010. The Product Key Card is a single license card (with no DVD media) that will be sold at major electronic retail outlets. This saves users the hassle of having to install Office themselves by simply allowing them to 'unlock' a pre-installed version of it on their new PC. This, according to Microsoft, will:

"Enable a simpler and faster path for consumers to begin using any one of three full versions of Microsoft Office – Office Home & Student 2010, Office Home & Business 2010, or Office Professional 2010."

The bigger news of the day is the addition of Microsoft's 'Office Starter.' Office Starter 2010 is a reduced-functionality, advertising-supported version of Office 2010, available exclusively on new PCs; its goal is to provide new PC owners with immediate exposure to the Office 2010 experience on new PCs right out of the box. Office Starter 2010 will include Office Word Starter 2010 and Office Excel Starter 2010, with the basic functionality for creating, viewing and editing documents, essentially replacing Microsoft Works, with an opportunity to upgrade to a fully comprehensive version of the Office suite.

Finally, Microsoft are making it easier for individuals who simply wish to try out Microsoft Office. Consumers can now download a trial or buy Office 2010 directly from Office.com, as Click-to-Run gives customers an easy and simple way to try or buy Office digitally. Click-to-Run automatically downloads and installs any software patches when connected to the Internet, helping people maintain and keep their Office software up-to-date. It also uses virtualization technology, meaning that it allows customers to maintain multiple versions of Office. This enables them to try Office 2010 side-by-side with the existing version of Office.

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A couple of things,
1) The Product Key Card is not a new concept. Office 2007 had this too. It was actually the cheapest way to license office without going into an agreement. We used it for all of our PCs at work.
2) Click to Run, in my experience, has always been slow to start whatever the application, even if just a small app, nevermind the Office beasts. I'd be interested to see what the user experience is like for that
3)Is Office starter going to be freely downloadable or only for OEMs?

still using office 2002 in office and 2003 at home.

i don't see the need even to 2007. what? 2010? still 3 months to go.

You can't even compare Open Office to Office 200 or 2003. It's the basic of office like Office Starter and it will work for those who don't need the added functionality but to compare the two is silly.

mrmomoman said,
You can't even compare Open Office to Office 200 or 2003. It's the basic of office like Office Starter and it will work for those who don't need the added functionality but to compare the two is silly.



The biggest issue with OO (and I've used OO) is that OO has no mail application, whereas all but the most basic versions of Office include Outlook. Also, try as they might, most other e-mail applications simply don't match the power (and ease of applying that power) of Outlook, even as a straight POP or IMAP mail client (and, even worse for them, Outlook 2010 has extended that lead, especially in IMAP). Throw in Word's improved PDF/ODF export capabilities and the biggest use I actually had for OO goes away.

Lastly, for those that care about such things, there isn't an x64 version of OO, while even the most basic versions of Office 2010 have x64 versions in testing today.

IMO, there is no equal to Office. There are some good/great alternatives to Microsoft software, but there is no equal to office, IMO.

lol .. why crack the starter version with the ads when u can crack the professional and enterprise versions ?!

Bero said,
lol .. why crack the starter version with the ads when u can crack the professional and enterprise versions ?!

LOL even better - why crack when you can just torrent?

I'm sure a lot of people will find a use for the ad-supported versions... casual users and the like.

The bigger news of the day is the addition of Microsoft's 'Office Starter.' Office Starter 2010 is a reduced-functionality, advertising-supported version of Office 2010, available exclusively on new PCs; its goal is to provide new PC owners with immediate exposure to the Office 2010 experience on new PCs right out of the box.

Can't wait to see what the EC makes of this. It seems like Microsoft still hasn't learnt its lesson. I wonder how big the fine will be for this bad boy

OEMs already provide a trial version of Office with their OS installs. This will be similar only it won't expire.

That's precisely my point. Who needs to look for word processing/spreadsheet apps, etc. when you're given one for free?

The same situation applied to the whole bundling-IE fiasco.

dewaaz said,
That's precisely my point. Who needs to look for word processing/spreadsheet apps, etc. when you're given one for free?

The same situation applied to the whole bundling-IE fiasco.


So Microsoft basically needs to NOT be able to improve their products in order for competitors to thrive? Do you, perchance, work for Opera? That sure sounds like their argument. Besides, it isn't Microsoft doing the bundling (the OEMs and system builders are, and that is largely at the request of their customers). I don't hear the devs of OO complaining.

*sigh* Microsoft needs not to abuse its dominant market share. Read up on the EC's competition laws to understand this issue fully. If MS gave away free versions of every type of software available, and no other company was able to compete, then that would be unfair. So the line has been drawn at not offering any software that unfairly prejudices the attempts of other vendors to sell their wares. Note this only applies to companies with a dominant market share. No other company on Earth has a 90% worldwide share of any market, and thus it always seems like only MS is being targeted - which isn't true.

I don't work for Opera - but I do study EC competition law, so I do know the full facts of the situation and its context. You should perhaps read a few proper articles so you too know what you're on about.

dewaaz said,
If MS gave away free versions of every type of software available, and no other company was able to compete, then that would be unfair.

You, and the EU, should realize that if people wanted to use other software they would. Not once has free or bundled software from Microsoft ever stopped anyone from using a 3rd party app.

iamwhoiam said,
You, and the EU, should realize that if people wanted to use other software they would. Not once has free or bundled software from Microsoft ever stopped anyone from using a 3rd party app.

It's not about MS preventing people from installing other software.

Everytime I think about the cost of Windows, Office, or Photoshop I think about the sales reports from Steam. When they launch a game at $50 and then discount it to $35 a few months later they say they make more money than at launch.

I understand that doesn't automatically mean that lowering the price equals more profit at launch, but can't they give it a shot some time?

I won't pay for Office, I'll either find a launch event or use what I have today (obtained at a launch event).

Chrono951 said,
Click-to-Run sounds like a great idea when combined with virtualization tech.

I actually hate it, because it so slow to start office compared to it being installed and run the normal way.

Gotenks98 said,
I actually hate it, because it so slow to start office compared to it being installed and run the normal way.

Sooooooo, you've used the version of office 2010 that they state will be using virtualization technology already? Even though they've only announced it today?

Sounds more like you're making an assumption, and that you're hating on something you haven't even tried yet.

The Burning Rom said,
Sooooooo, you've used the version of office 2010 that they state will be using virtualization technology already? Even though they've only announced it today?

Sounds more like you're making an assumption, and that you're hating on something you haven't even tried yet.


Actually the click to run has been out in beta form for about 4 months now, I have used it as well. Maybe you should not make assumptions about what is and isn't in testing that just hasn't been announced publicly by Microsoft. The only problem with the C2R is it's 32 bit only, but runs fine on 64 bit machines.

The Burning Rom said,
Sooooooo, you've used the version of office 2010 that they state will be using virtualization technology already? Even though they've only announced it today?

Sounds more like you're making an assumption, and that you're hating on something you haven't even tried yet.



I've tried it also (it is being previewed along with traditional versions of Office 2010) and it is actually slower (at present) than a traditional install of Office 2010 (that is, however, actually expected due to the application-virtualization technology), so he's not blowing smoke. That speed difference is going to be a major barrier to acceptance of C2R.

nytiger73 said,
Actually the click to run has been out in beta form for about 4 months now, I have used it as well. Maybe you should not make assumptions about what is and isn't in testing that just hasn't been announced publicly by Microsoft. The only problem with the C2R is it's 32 bit only, but runs fine on 64 bit machines.

In BETA form...not FINAL form. If you want to talk about betas, it could also be said that the regular installed version of office 2010 is slower than the regular installed version of office 2007. At least that seems to be the case with every machine I have tested it on. I don't expect that to hold true once all the debugging code is removed and the product goes final. The same can be said about click to run.