Anyone who buys Microsoft Office 2010 now will be able to upgrade for free to Office 2013 when it comes out, the software giant announced on Friday.
The offer, which is not available to those who bought Office 2010 before 19 October, gives Home and Student, Home and Business and Professional customers the option of upgrading to either the 2013 iteration of their chosen version, or getting a one-year subscription to the cloud-based Office 365 Home Premium.
Those on other versions can only upgrade to variants of Office 365. Specifically, Office University 2010 customers, both on the PC and Mac, will get to move for free to Office 365 University, on a four-year subscription. The other Office for Mac versions will only provide upgrades to one-year Office 365 Home Premium subscriptions.
To get the upgrade, customers will need to provide proof of purchase, dated between 19 October, 2012 and 30 April, 2013, and a valid product key. They also qualify if they buy a new PC that comes with Office 2010 preinstalled during the eligibility period.
The offer came as Microsoft prepares for the official launch of Windows 8 this week.
Office for Windows RT
The upgrade offer may be less relevant to consumers who are planning to buy a Windows RT device such as Microsoft's Surface, as the ARM-centric version of Windows 8 already comes with a copy of Office Home and Student 2013 RT. That version of Office is not licensed for commercial use, though, and those who want to use it for such purposes will need to purchase a further license.
Microsoft originally said that the first Windows RT tablets would ship with a preview version of Office 2013 RT, which would then be upgraded to the full version at some point soon after the launch.
However, Ars Technica reported on Saturday that Microsoft was already pushing out the update ahead of the Surface RT launch this week.