Microsoft have been listening, dear readers. It's difficult for me to splutter the words out loud, however it does seem that the technological evolution of words on paper can just about squeeze in.
Previous Office editions included Home & Student, but this was geared towards the home user, rather than that of the latter student. Office 2010 will include a dedicated academic edition, called Office Professional Academic 2010.
This edition will include Outlook for the first time, which suggests they may have finally realised the importance that email has with students of this generation. Alongside this, they are noticing the increase in web email and the rise of Google Docs and corresponding email services. Even though Live@edu (with Moodle integration as an added bonus) is on the increase and surprisingly taking over in the race with Google, Outlook would seemingly act as an additional element to the email experience. One would hope, at least.
With the loss of student-focused 'Equipt' which seemed to die just before it was really getting started, the company was aware that students were an important market to impress and have finally followed suit.
It will not include Office Web Apps by standard as this will be for the individual university to roll out should they see fit, to integrate with existing SharePoint systems. Students can still use the free version which will be available in SkyDrive.
One worry though is that the price of the academic edition will rise from the standard, non-discounted version due to the increase in applications it provides. While it is solely for academic use, there is nothing physically stopping the less social-economically viable users purchasing it.
I will sleep tonight a very happy chappy. What do you think? A good move on the part of Microsoft or is this an ancient Trojan horse promotion hiding something rather sinister?