Microsoft rethinks, reveals prices for its Office 2010 SKU line-up

Microsoft rethinks, reveals prices for its Office 2010 SKU line-up

Summary: Microsoft is adding one new version to its line-up for Office 2010, a "Professional Academic" SKU that includes Outlook, as rumored late last year. The company also is sharing its planned retail pricing for the suite.


Microsoft is adding one new version to its line-up for Office 2010, a "Professional Academic" SKU that includes Outlook, as rumored late last year. The company also is sharing its planned retail pricing for the suite.

Microsoft unveiled on January 5 its latest iteration of its Office 2010 line-up. The now-four retail SKUs include:

A new Office Professional Academic version. It will be sold through retailers and campus bookstores. This SKU is for "qualified students and educators." It will include Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, Publisher 2010, Access 2010, and Office Web Apps (the free, consumer-focused version of Microsoft's Webified version of four of its Office apps). Pricing $99

Office Home and Student. It will include Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010 and Office Web Apps. This version can be run as a Family Pack style, with usage allowed on three PCs in one house. Pricing is $149 (boxed) or $119 (product key card).

Office Home and Business. This version is for small businesses or those who work at home, according to the Softies. It includes Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010 and Office Web Apps. It costs $279 (boxed) or $199 if purchased using a Product Key Card.

Office Professional. It comes with Word 2010, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, PUblisher 2010, Access 2010, Office Web Apps and premium technical support. It will sell for $499 (boxed), or $349 (Product Key Card).

As my blogging colleague Zack Whittaker noted in December, based on some leaked box shots of Office 2010, the addition of Outlook to the new Professional Academic version should be a welcome one for students. The current Office Home and Student wasn't really geared toward university students, Whittaker argued. Whittaker has more info today about how Microsoft plans to "qualify" those who are eligible for the new Academic version.

There are two other Office 2010 SKUs not mentioned in today's line-up that Microsoft officials discussed last summer --  the Professional Plus and Standard SKUs. The SKUs and pricing in today's announcement seem to include only those products available at retail and not those also available to volume licensees, but I've asked Microsoft to be sure that the company is still planning to roll out these other two SKUs.

Update: Yes, the other two SKUs (Pro Plus and Standard) seem to still be on the docket. And there's also "Office Starter 2010 Edition," which is the replacement for Microsoft Works, and an OEM-only SKU, still in the wings, as well.... So I guess that means we're technically at seven SKUs, just one short of the eight that Microsoft offered when it introduced Office 2007.

Update No. 2: As Gregg Keizer at ComputerWorld figured out, Microsoft is not going to be offering Upgrade pricing, as of Office 2010. According to Keizer's calculations, the Product Key Card (which seems to be the replacement to an Upgrade SKU) is somewhat more expensive than Upgrades. Kind of a surprising move, when pressure on Microsoft from its free, Web-based competitors to Office would seem to point to the need for Office price cuts, not increases....

Update No. 3: Even more Upgrade pricing comparisons and other related info from my ZDNet blogging colleague Ed Bott.

Topics: Software, Collaboration, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Microsoft rethinks, reveals prices for its Office 2010 SKU line-up

    The prices listed are a great deal for Microsoft Office. A lot of universities now have an agreement with Microsoft so that the students will not have to purchase the software. The enterprise purchases in a volume license so that makes the price even lower than listed. If you think about all the applications that are bundled in the Office suite and all the many different functions they perform you simply can't pass up this product for the money.
    Loverock Davidson
    • LD's comments are douchey

      But perhaps they?re just aspirational, a desire to be the next Steve Ballmer and be able to perform the monkey dance in front of a large audience. Ah, and some chair throwing, perhaps.

      Aspiring to be a Steve Ballmer is not easy.
      The Mentalist
      • Why? Because your favorite office suite is a big fat FAIL?

        I get the feeling you are just upset because you are a card-carrying ABM member and can't stand the fact that MS Office is so successful.

        Am I right? Hmmm?
        • Nope.

          He maybe a douche but this time he is being it in sort of a funny way and as long as he keeps being funny he does not upset me.

          What really upsets me is him being a douche in a douchey way, it irks me when he does that.
          The Mentalist
        • Which favorite office suite?

          And in what way is it a FAIL?

          MS Office hit its asymptote at the beginning of the decade. Since then, nothing of note has happened, except the latest version has incompatible file formats. You might call it a FAIL because it hasn't advanced in the last 10 years, but the actual fact seems to be that it does all you want an office suite to do. And it's successful in the sense of the marketplace.

          Success or FAIL is becoming a difficult thing to judge at this point.
          • I meant any non-MS Office suite is a FAIL [nt]

  • $99?

    For Academic? Hmm, I wonder If it'll be sold for less at the school's bookstore, if not, I'll have to wait till over the summer to upgrade. Still $99 is pretty cheap for an Office SKU...
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Check with your university

      The university in this area allowed the students to get the software for free due to the license agreements with Microsoft. I forget the name of it, but the school offered XP, Office, VS, and a few others at no charge. Not many people knew about it so you had to ask.
      Loverock Davidson
      • Not an option

        They play too much poker at his university and they do it at too little stakes so there's not enough money available for MS Office.

        The winner may earn enough to purchase an MS Office license but unfortunately for MS he has no need for it so there's no way MS can win there.
        The Mentalist
        • I have no need for it?

          Since when do you speak for me?

          OOo doesn't have the features I need. There is no FOSS equivalent to the Ribbon UI, Outlook, or OneNote.
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • DreamSpark and MSDNAA

        DreamSpark is free and is open to any university who registers (free for the university too; they just have to open up their AD to allow students to register their university login to Live ID). MSDNAA is available and usually free for students, although the university has to pick up the charge for that, and they may well relay that onto the students themselves.
        • Unfortunately

          My school is set up so that only students taking a particular class, In my case Windows Server, is allowed access to MSDNAA. I just passed that class last semester. Lol

          I was thinking more along the lines of a student discount.

          Or maybe even another Ultimate Steal offer.
          The one and only, Cylon Centurion
        • MSDNAA

          MSDNAA was the name I was trying to think of, thanks Zack!
          Loverock Davidson
      • You're probably thinking of...

        The Microsoft Academic Alliance. The link below is where I go to log in and get the free software. Bear in mind, that's for New England Tech. I guess each college/university has their own agreements.
        Mr. Slate
  • open office still beats it

    there is a loooong way for M$ office to match the Open Office price tag.
    Linux Geek
    • Price tag yes

      Features No. MS Office is way more powerful than OpenOffice but OpenOffice is a good choice for those that have basic document creation needs.
      • Unfortunate you are right in part, and getting righter everyday

        At some (not too distant) point in time the price tag for MS Office will match that of OOo and then OOo will no longer to be able to compete on price alone.
        The Mentalist
        • Can this be true

          The Mentalist agrees with me? Forgive me for being skeptical but I cannot help feeling that way based on your past commentary.

          But that being said I think the FREE Office Web Apps available through Office live coming in the near future will provide nearly (if not the same or more) power that can be found in OpenOffice or GoogleDocs. My organization has been using Live services such as Live@Edu since the beginning of the school year and our students, parents, and teachers seem to love it. Something nice and free from big Microsoft. And I think everyone can use it and all they need is a LiveID to get most of the live services for free. Live@Edu just has a central management point for Schools because we have to keep an eye on our students and are liable for what they do with the internet, but in today's age they need access to email and other services and Live@Edu does that beautifully.
          • The comment was tongue in cheek but I do think that as MS lowers prices

            OOo will lose ground. Increasing competition from cloud products means MS will have no other option but to lower prices.

            The only thing going for OOo is Linux where it does not have to face competition from MS Office. Linux on the desktop is growing slowly but surely and new platforms are gaining ground and changing the game completely.
            The Mentalist
          • Now that I can agree with

            I think that various of flavors of Linux and MacOS gaining ground is a good thing to be honest. Every OS can learn from each other and in the end that makes everyone a winner. I am also glad other OSes/Office Suites have been gaining ground because it forced Microsoft step up their game and I honestly believe the proof is in their latest versions. Windows 7 is fast, reliable/stable , secure, and still maintains the best compatibility and flexibility in the business. Office 2007 was done well and Office 2010 is shaping up to be even better. The Beta is lightning fast and has all the good things of Office 2007 and seems to have taken the feedback of its users seriously. So the whole Microsoft "...was my idea" campaign is true in my book. It doesn't mean that Microsoft is the best choice for everybody but after all that is why we have choices.

            This is the most honest and sincere post I have ever seen you post.