Following the release of Office 2010 in mid-May to business users, Microsoft is now selling the productivity suite to consumers through retail outlets. Available in Office Home and Student 2010, Office Home and Business 2010, and Office Professional 2010 versions, the suite went on sale Tuesday at more than 35,000 retail stores worldwide, along with the 2010 versions of Visio and Project.
The brick-and-mortar outlets include Best Buy, Fnac, Harvey Norman, and PC World, as well as such online retailers as Amazon.com and Microsoft itself. It also comes bundled with various desktop and laptop computers, in some cases as trial versions that are ready for purchase and activation.
'Dramatic Changes' in Delivery
Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop said the company has made "dramatic changes in the way we deliver Office 2010 to give consumers more buying choices." He added that, for the first time, consumers can buy a product key card at a retail outlet to activate Office 2010, which comes pre-loaded on new computers, and a new Click-to-Run technology allows buyers to download the product directly from Office.com.
The company said "more than a billion" PCs worldwide have some version of Office installed, and, based on a survey of beta users, Microsoft estimated that 75 percent will buy Office 2010 within the next six months. The 2010 beta program had more than nine million downloads, about six times the volume of downloads for the preceding version, Office 2007.
Improvements touted by the software giant include new photo and editing features in PowerPoint 2010, more extensive text effects and table formatting options in Word, the ability to reveal important trends in data using Sparklines in Excel, and advanced e-mail management and calendaring in Outlook.
'Most Feature-Rich Version'
Outlook also features a new Social Connector for staying in touch with business and personal networks. A new feature is the ability to work collaboratively from anywhere, on any connected device with a browser, using Office Web Apps and Live SkyDrive.
Laura DiDio, an analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Corp., said she likes Office 2010 "very much," calling it "the most feature-rich and best-performing version of Office that Microsoft has ever had." She also described the Office Web Apps as a "very credible first effort."
DiDio said she likes 2010 more than 2007 because of the increased functionality and role-based features, but the case for upgrading will likely be more compelling for consumers who have Office versions earlier than 2007.
"Office is still the champion of office productivity applications," she noted, so "all Microsoft needs to do is keep its current installed base and migrate those people to the web." DiDio contrasted this with Google's more difficult task with Google Apps, which involves enticing Office users to adopt its online applications instead of Microsoft's.
Posted: 2010-06-17 @ 12:45pm PT
OpenOffice, Google Docs and Zoho are great alternatives that are free! It is like getting a FREE COMPUTER by using one of these alternatives because of the money you can save. A boxed version of Office 2010 Professional is around $499. OpenOffice is free!
Posted: 2010-06-17 @ 12:17pm PT
No upgrades discount, I moved to Kingsoft Office 2010 from BinaryNow for $40. Cheaper and faster!