Microsoft to offer a small-business version of Office 2010, after all

Microsoft to offer a small-business version of Office 2010, after all

Summary: Microsoft is preparing to launch a new Office 2010 SKU, known as Office Small Business Basics 2010, that will be targeted primarily at users in selected emerging markets.

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Microsoft is preparing to launch a new Office 2010 SKU, known as Office Small Business Basics 2010, that will be targeted primarily at users in selected emerging markets.

The Smart-max.de site has a screen shot mentioning the coming suite (and are the ones who alerted me to it). The new Small Business Basics SKU includes Word, Excel, Outlook and OneNote,a ccording to the Smart-max folks.

I asked Microsoft for more details about the Office Small Business Basics SKU (a k a, stock-keeping unit, or, in other words, a specific bundle) and received back a no comment. I'm betting the Softies are planning to use the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference as the announcement venue for the new SKU.

When the company unveiled Office 2010's planned pricing and SKU line up earlier this year, company officials stressed that Microsoft's goal was to move toward fewer, simpler SKUs. The three primary Office 2010 SKUs are Home and Student, Home and Business and Professional. (There are also Office 2010 Standard, Professional Plus and Starter SKUs, as well, but they are secondary, in terms of Microsoft's Office 2010 marketing push.)

When I did a Web search for "Office Small Business Basics 2010," I found a few mentions of it -- as well as a few other SKUs -- among folks who were seeking more information on volume-license versions of Office. The "Mondo" edition is likely the one that Microsoft provides to its OEM partners that is a roll-up of all the SKUs (as has been the case with previous versions of Office.) There's also an Office Personal 2010 SKU listed. Microsoft officials were willing to comment on that SKU. From a spokesperson:

"Microsoft Office Personal 2010 is a suite for Japanese consumers only. It includes Word 2010, Excel 2010, and Outlook 2010. It also includes Office IME 2010 (Input Method Editor) to input Japanese characters. Office Personal 2010 is available through retail and from OEMs."

Anyone know more about the Office Small Business Basics 2010 release? I had thought Microsoft had decided against doing an Office 2010 SKU specific to the small-business market, as it has been touting the Office Professional 2010 SKU as the replacement for the Office 2007 Small Business edition.

Topics: Microsoft, Collaboration, Software, SMBs

About

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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14 comments
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  • PowerPoint

    PowerPoint is noticeably missing. I'd consider it to be more important than OneNote.
    Daniel Breslauer
  • RE: Microsoft to offer a small-business version of Office 2010, after all

    Maybe posts by new users should be checked before appearing, until they reach 50 posts or so, after which this restriction can be lifted. That would solve the issue entirely.
    Daniel Breslauer
    • They could set up . . .

      @Daniel575

      recaptcha for a post. I'd put up with that if it got rid of that nonsense . . .
      JLHenry
  • Gotta love MS speek

    "company officials stressed that Microsoft?s goal was to move toward fewer, simpler SKUs."

    Office 2010 Home and Student
    Office 2010 Home and Business
    Office 2010 Professional.
    Office 2010 Standard
    Office 2010 Professional Plus
    Office 2010 Starter
    Office 2010 Professional Academic

    Then add 32 & 64-bit versions, nice way to simplify guys;-)
    Richard Flude
    • RE: Microsoft to offer a small-business version of Office 2010, after all

      @Richard Flude

      The software included in each version is clearly marked and available for comparison. I love how so many claim confusion about the different versions of Windows and Office but some of these same people say that all the distros of Linux and OpenSource software "X"are easy to follow.
      bobiroc
      • Motive, my good man, MOTIVE!

        @bobiroc
        The many distros of Linux are there to serve the user. On the other hand, the many SKUs of Microsoft wares are there to better bleed the user.

        A simple concept easily understood by all save a "softie".
        Ole Man
      • RE: Microsoft to offer a small-business version of Office 2010, after all

        @bobiroc
        Let's see, that's 14 versions, not counting Office For Apple. Gotta keep the SKU engineers happy.<br><br>:p
        ahh so
    • RE: Microsoft to offer a small-business version of Office 2010, after all

      @Richard Flude
      Sure the SKU list was simplified, they got rid of lower priced (lower PROFIT!) upgrade SKU.

      PS: You forgot the "Product card" medialess versions. The Product card eliminates the need for them "wasting" money on media and fancy packaging, higher PROFIT margin. They got rid of the upgrade option to make things simpler for we poor confused consumers.

      Sure the new system is "better", for example 2010 Home & Student "full" version allows 3 installs for $130-160. The 2007 upgrade which ran around $90, is now replaced by a $120 "medialess" version which allows only 1 install. See, isn't that MUCH better (for the MS bottom line of course, you silly, that is the only important thing. come-on, really)!

      MS marketing, more than many others, works on the principle of the "Big Lie" (of course they don't call it that!). If you say it often enough, loud enough, it must be "true". MS has told us repeatedly that their 2010 product line has been "simplified", so it must be true.
      Ron_007
      • lower profit

        lower price doesn't necessarily equate to lower profit. I generally can find little reason to M$'s rhymes though so profit is as good a reason as any. lol
        doctorphibes53@...
  • Pay as You Go Office?

    The problem with all these SKUs is that one of them is probably perfect for you, but you can never figure out which one! It would be interesting to see MS move to a 'Pay as you Go' model, where you just buy the apps that you need (and the more you buy, the cheaper the per app price gets). Imagine Word, Powerpoint, Outlook, Excel and One Note @ $50 each, or 3 for $129, 4 for $159 etc...

    It could make a lot more sense for consumers!
    willpe
    • pay as you go...

      I think that most consumers using that model would be buying fewer apps, therefore paying a heftier price. Good Lord don't give them any ideas!!!
      doctorphibes53@...
  • RE: Microsoft to offer a small-business version of Office 2010, after all

    Using Office 2010 Professional Plus x64 on my Windows 7 machine, I just love OneNote, it's awesome!!
    shellcodes_coder
  • SKU ?

    Why is everyone referring to them as a SKU's; "the SKU was simplified", etc. etc. ? It / they, are versions. SKU specifically refers to a particular product's identification number assigned during manufacturing (which is ultimately barcoded), for logistics, supply chain, and inventory control purposes for, in this case, M$ only. The number is assigned completely by chance and has no true bearing upon what lies within. Ostensibly this is why they are given names like "Pro Plus", or "Starter" (though in reality it's probably to appeal to a buyers vanity, modesty, and / or bank account size, as the case may be...solid marketing ploy). A version will be assigned additional SKU's as it makes it's way through the supply chain to various vendors in the form of a sticker which will most likely be placed over M$'s SKU effectively obliterating it. So if you go to your local office supply store armed with M$'s SKU you will, in all likelihood, wind up tossing it in file 13 and using alternate means to find what you're looking for. Happy hunting!

    Yours truly,

    llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
    doctorphibes53@...
    • SKU ?

      llllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
      8 167585561 9
      Scan me please, and place me in the returns bin. Thank you!
      doctorphibes53@...