Office 2010 cheaper than predecessor

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Office 2010 cheaper than predecessor

Professionals and ‘future-proofed’ 2007 customers pay a premium.

Microsoft today announced Australian retail pricing of Office 2010, following its release to manufacturing (RTM) earlier this week.

Three boxed versions of the software suite will be made available next month: Office Home and Student 2010 for $209, Office Home and Business 2010 for $379 and Office Professional 2010 for $849.

Boxed products would allow installation on three PCs for Office Home and Student 2010 and two PCs for the other versions.

Microsoft also offered single license 'Product Key Cards' to unlock preloaded Office 2010 software on new PCs. These would cost $169, $279 or $499, depending on which Office 2010 suite the customer chose to purchase.

Technology -- not price -- guarantee

As per the 'Technology Guarantee' program that was launched by Microsoft last month, consumers who activated new copies of Office 2007 between March and September could upgrade to 2010 software offerings for free.

While there were three versions of Office 2010, Office 2007 came in four flavours: Home and Student; Standard; Small Business; and Professional.

Office Home and Student and Professional 2007 customers would be upgraded to the equivalent 2010 software, which had the same recommended retail price (RRP).

But because of Microsoft's decision to replace the 2007 Publisher application with OneNote in 2010, pricing changed significantly for its SMB offerings. The new Office Home and Business 2010 would cost almost 50 percent less than the two software suites it replaced, Office Standard 2007 ($690) and Office Small Business 2007 ($749).

Office Standard 2007 customers would receive the cheaper Office Home and Business 2010, while Office Small Business 2007 customers could upgrade to Office Professional 2010 for free.

Australian prices for the two more basic boxed versions were comparable with US pricing of US$149 (A$160) for Office Home and Student 2010 and US$279 (A$300) for Office Home and Business 2010.

However, Office Professional 2010 would cost substantially less in the US, at US$499 (AUD$536). Microsoft Australia's Office consumer product manager Tina Flammer said pricing reflected how "the level of resources required to conduct business varies by market."

"Local and regional pricing for Microsoft products is based on a number of market-specific factors including, but not limited to, our forecast of exchange rates, local taxes, duties, regulatory requirements and operational and support costs," she said.

Edited 4 June 2010, 10.30am: Microsoft orginally stated that the Product Key Card for its Office Home and Business 2010 would cost $269. It amended this today to $279 (paragraph 4).

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