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Goodbye Microsoft Works, Hello Office Starter 2010

One thing that I disliked about buying a new PC was Microsoft Works. While I suppose it’s a decent enough software program for the average home user, my personal preference was always Microsoft Office. Over the years, I’ve had to uninstall Works over and over again in order to replace it with its more professional counterpart, Office.

That’s why I’m thrilled to learn about the latest news regarding Office 2010. Now, instead of including Works on new PCs, manufacturers can pre-install a basic edition of Office called Office Starter 2010. And unlike in the past when “trial” versions of Office were pre-installed in lieu of Works, this reduced-functionality Office suite will be ad-supported and fully functional. In the Starter edition, you’ll be able to view, create, and edit files without any looming “time bomb” date ahead of you at which point the software no longer functions until you purchase a license. However, if you decide to upgrade to a different edition of Office, you’ll be able to do so right within the Office product itself. 

In addition, the new Office 2010 suite will be sold both as an eco-friendly product card key (as opposed to DVD) for new purchases. The key number contained on the card will unlock the Office software that’s been pre-installed on new PCs. And for existing PCs, a downloadable “Click-to-Run” offering is being provided which allows customers to use virtualization technologies in order to try Office 2010 side-by-side with their existing install until they’re ready to purchase.

The Office 2010 beta will launch later this year and beta testing of the Office Web Applications is already underway. You can learn more about the new suite at www.microsoft.com/office2010.

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