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Office 2010 Prices Revealed

Microsoft offers big discounts to consumers willing to download the software.
Microsoft on Tuesday released a detailed pricing plan for its forthcoming Office 2010 desktop productivity suite. It's not cheap, but shoppers who forego boxed, retail versions will enjoy significant savings.




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The suite, which includes popular applications like Microsoft Word, Office, and PowerPoint, is slated to ship to businesses and consumers later this year.

For 2010, Office will be available in four editions.

The standard Office Home and Student version is priced at $149 for packaged software, or $119 for those who wish to download the software and activate it with a key card.

For home office workers and small businesses, Office Home and Business is available for $279 boxed, or $199 for a key card. Office 2010 Professional, which includes a number of tools geared toward enterprise environments, is $499 boxed, or $349 for a key card.

College students and professors can get a price break by purchasing Office Professional Academic. It's priced at $99 and will be available at campus bookstores and other selected retailers.

All versions of Office 2010 will include access to Office Web, which is a pared down, Internet-based version of the software. Microsoft also plans to make Office Web available for free to the public through its Windows Live portal. The software, however, lacks all the bells and whistles of the pricey desktop versions.

Microsoft intends to give its corporate customers the option of hosting Office Web on their own servers in order to give them more control over the product. The plan allows Microsoft to protect its flank from Web-based software from Google and from free, open source-based offerings, such as IBM's Lotus Symphony.

Microsoft last month confirmed that Office 2010 will be available sometime in the middle of this year, but did not provide a more specific timeframe.

Among Office 2010's enhancements over previous editions are beefed up video and image processing tools that let users edit photos and videos from within their Office documents. New collaboration capabilities, meanwhile, will allow multiple users to access and edit a single document over the Internet.

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