Just like it does with Windows to keep the bottom from dropping out of the market in the months prior to the launch of a new release, Microsoft does the same with Office via its Tech Guarantee program. It looks like that free-upgrade program is about to begin for Office 2010.
Ars Technica got a glimpse of a Microsoft partner's blog post about the imminent launch of the Office 2010 Tech Guarantee program -- just before the post was yanked. Here are some of the details (via Ars):
- The program runs between March 5, 2010 and September 30, 2010
- Customers who buy a copy of Office 2007 during that period -- with or without a new PC -- from a participating reseller will qualify for the promotion
- To qualify, customers must activate their copies of Office 2007 by September 30 and request their free upgrade to Office 2010 by October 31
- Those who are eligible will get a free download of Office 2010 (although discs will e purchasable for a shipping and handling fee)
- Limit is 25 free-upgrade copies per person
Microsoft is rapidly approaching the finish line with Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010. This week, Microsoft made the near-final Release Candidate (RC) of Office 2010 available to participants in its Technology Adoption Program (TAP). The company is not planning to make the RC more broadly available. Release to manufacturing could happen any time, but it's likely this spring. Microsoft officials have said the final code will be available by June for sure. Microsoft execs said last year to expect SharePoint 2010 to be released alongside Office 2010.
Microsoft already has revealed the planned version line-up for Office 2010 (with seven different SKUs, the prices for most of which the company also has shared), as well as the system requirements for the final Office 2010 product.