Microsoft announced that Office 2010, due for release in June, will be made available in four versions: Office Home and Business, Office Professional, Office Home and Student, and Office Professional Academic. Those who unlock the pre-loaded version of Office on newly purchased machines, via a product key card, are eligible for a discount; by doing so, Microsoft seems to be encouraging users to purchase products from its hardware partners, a natural move considering how Redmond has emphasized in the past how its own financial fortunes will be tied to rising PC sales in 2010.
Office Home and Student will retail for $149 as a boxed product, and for $119 with a product key card. Office Home and Business will retail for $279 as a boxed product, and $199 with a product key card. Office Professional will retail for $499 as a boxed product, and $349 with a product key card. The Office Professional Academic version will retail for $99 as a boxed product, and evidently not be available for unlocking on a pre-loaded machine.
Microsoft has announced it will offer free, stripped-down versions of Word, OneNote, Excel and PowerPoint to Microsoft Live subscribers, but the complete range of tools will only be available to those who purchase the full version of Office 2010. Microsoft may also face issues from users with a “good enough” mentality towards their current version of Office, and therefore be reluctant to upgrade.