When it comes to Microsoft’s software products, it doesn’t get much bigger than Windows and Office. On the Windows front, Microsoft had a hugely successful launch of Windows 7 in October of last year. The launch went off without a hitch and the operating system has been well received by consumers and ever-critical members of the press.
The next big software release from Microsoft will be Office 2010. The followup to Office 2007 is roughly six months aways and Microsoft is already revealing the pricing structure for the popular productivity suite.
The Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering blog lists standard (non-upgrade) pricing as follows:
Office Home and Student $149 $119 (Retail Box/Product Key Card)
Office Home and Business $279 $199
Office Professional $499 $349
Office Professional Academic $99 N/A
Those that choose to go the “old fashioned” route and purchase a retail boxed copy will have to pay anywhere from $30 to $150 more to get a DVD, paperwork, and a fancy plastic case.
However, there is a huge downside for those that choose to go the “Product Key Card” route (this gives you an activation key which you must use after downloading a copy of Office directly from Microsoft). While retail boxed copies of Home and Student gives you the ability to install Office on three machines (Home and Business, Professional, and Professional Academic allow installs on two machines), the Product Key Card versions can only be installed on one machine.
If you plan on installing Office on more than one machine, the Product Key Card versions quickly lose their pricing advantage.
At this time, Microsoft has not announced upgrade pricing for Office 2010, but expect the details to be revealed closer to launch time. In the mean time, if you’re one of the handful of people that haven’t already tried the Office 2010 beta, you can grab it here.