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Microsoft dumps upgrade pricing for Office 2010

Retail pricing will increase costs for many users who already own older Office suites

January 5, 2010 02:14 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft today disclosed retail prices for Office 2010, and said it has no plans to offer "upgrade" editions -- the discounted versions for users who already have an earlier edition on their PCs. The move will effectively raise the price for many users who want to migrate from older editions of the popular suite.

Microsoft also spelled out prices for its new "key cards," single-license codes that will be sold at up to 30% off boxed copy prices, for upgrading the Office Starter 2010 mini-suite that many computer makers are expected to preinstall on new PCs.

Microsoft's trimmed the number of retail editions of Office 2010 for the general public to three, down from Office 2007's five.

The boxed version of Office 2010 Home and Student, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, comes with a price tag of $149, and lets a family install the suite on as many of three household PCs. A single-license key card will cost $119, 20% less than the boxed copy.

Office 2010 Home and Business, which adds the Outlook e-mail client to the four applications available in Home and Student, runs $249 and can be installed on up to two of the buyer's PCs. A one-license key card will be priced at $199, a 20% savings.

Adding Publisher and Access, the latter Microsoft's desktop database software, Office 2010 Professional will be priced at $499 and can be installed on a pair of PCs. The single-license key card, however, will run $349, a discount of 30%.

The SKU Microsoft added to the retail line today is Professional Academic, an edition available to K-12 and college students, staff and faculty. The edition contains the same application mix as Office 2010 Professional, can be installed on up to two PCs and will cost $99. No key card option will be available for the academic edition.

Microsoft is making changes to more than the suite's editions, however. A company spokeswoman confirmed today that Microsoft does not plan to offer separate upgrade editions for Office 2010. That's a major departure from the past; Microsoft has traditionally sold upgrades at prices significantly less than the so-called "full" editions, which are designed for installing the suite on a PC sans Office.

In the Office 2007 line, the Standard edition -- which contains the same applications as Office 2010 Home and Business -- costs $399.95 for the full version but only $239.95 for the upgrade, a savings of 40%. Office 2010 Home and Business, meanwhile, will cost $249 in the boxed version, effectively raising the price of the suite by $10 for people wanting to upgrade. The key card price of $199 for Office 2010 Home and Business is $40 less than the upgrade price of Office 2007 Standard, but it's a one-license deal; the boxed copy lets customers install the suite on two PCs.



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