Buying options take shape before June launch
Microsoft has revealed the pricing for its Office 2010 software package, which will be available from June.
There are three versions of Office 2010: Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business and Office Professional. The reduction from the five versions of Office 2007 is designed to "simplify the consumer purchasing experience" according to Microsoft.
The pre-installed versions will undercut the boxed versions with Home and Student at £89.99 and the more feature-heavy versions, Home and Office and Professional coming in at £189.99 and £299.99 respectively.
The boxed versions of Office 2010 will start at £109.99 for Home and Student, rising to £239.99 for Home and Office and £429.99 for Professional.
Microsoft is changing the approach for pre-installed versions of Office 2010 - the way the majority of small businesses and consumers are likely to buy the software.
When purchasing the PC, buyers will receive a product key card for their chosen version of Office 2010. When the user sets up the PC they use a key number on the card to unlock the pre-loaded software.
Microsoft has not yet released price details for volume licensing of the software.
Other changes for Office 2010 include the introduction of Microsoft Office Starter 2010, essentially a replacement for Works.
Starter is an ad-supported version of Office which won't require a product key card. It will include limited versions of Word and Excel but users will be able to upgrade to a fully featured version of Office via Starter.
Microsoft has also been running what it calls a 'click-to-run' service whereby users with existing PCs can download a trial version of Office 2010 to try it out before deciding whether to buy it. Click-to-run uses virtualisation technology so users can run it alongside their existing version of Office.