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Microsoft Office 2010 Prices Cut

Amazon offers discounts on Redmond's latest desktop package while rival Best Buy holds line.

Online retailer Amazon has cut the price on Microsoft's new Office 2010 productivity suite by up to 13%.

Microsoft Office 2010 In Pictures
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Microsoft Office 2010 In Pictures

The Home & Student version of the software is currently selling on Amazon for $129, compared to Microsoft's $149 list price.

Amazon is also discounting other versions of Office 2010, though not by as much. The Home & Business edition is now $259, compared to the $279 list price, while the Professional version is down to $459, from $499.

The price cuts do not appear to reflect weak demand for the suite, which Microsoft formally launched Tuesday. The Home & Student version was the top selling software product on Amazon as of Wednesday, while the Home & Business version was the second-best seller.

The pricey Professional edition ranked 19th. Amazon rival Best Buy has yet to match Amazon's discounts, while Microsoft is also maintaining list prices for Office 2010 on its online store.

Consumers who don't feel the need for a box or installation disc can save even more by downloading Office 2010 directly from Microsoft. The Home & Student download is just $119, the Home & Business download is $199, and the Professional download is $349.

Office 2010 features updates to the familiar Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications.

It also includes Office Web, which offers free, Internet-based editions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Consumers in the U.S, UK, Canada and Ireland can access Office Web applications through Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive portal at no charge, even if they have not purchased a desktop version of the software.

Office Web Apps are tailored specifically for the online environment. For instance, the Office Web version of PowerPoint does not include some of the desktop version's high-performance video editing tools.

The Web apps, on the other hand, offer features not found on the desktop versions, such as tools that let users embed tags into documents and post them directly onto blogs.

Businesses that purchase volume subscriptions to Office will also receive access to the Office Web Apps at no additional charge. Microsoft has about 90 million such customers. It also has roughly 400 million Windows Live users, adding up to a potential installed base of almost a half billion users for Office Web.

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