Office 2010 Pricing: Nothing Spectacular
It’s been 3 years since the last iteration of Microsoft Office, so that means it’s only natural for Microsoft release a new version. The 2010 version is promising a few different flavors and price points. Here’s the skinny on the Redmond cash-cow that is Office 2010.
First, a tip of the hat to blogger Mary Jo Foley (AllAboutMicrosoft.com), who had the lowdown on prices and SKUs. Now, my observations…
Office Professional Academic: Selling at retailers and campus bookstores for “qualified students and educators” only. Chances are you’re not qualified, but if you are, you’ll get almost more than you need. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook , Publisher, Access, and Office Web Apps. The whole package comes at $99. This is the closest price point we’ve seen to the competition: a mere $79.99 for Apple’s iWork. Arguably, Office 2010 is a better deal because of all the software you’re getting. But the question remains on how many students are using more than just Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Foley argues that Outlook “should be a welcome one for students” but in all honesty (and as a recent graduate), I don’t remember knowing any college students using Outlook as their mail client. I suppose it’s useful for university mail, but typically, the university will provide a web client or Outlook for free.
Office Home and Student. The most basic package, for more money than the Academic package. Word, Excel, PowerPoint , OneNote and Office Web Apps. You can, however, utilize this install “Family Pack Style”, which basically means you can install it on three computers. It’s $149 for the physical edition, and just a mere $119 for a paltry product key. This is essentially the iWork package, but for even more money. I think it’s a hard sell for Microsoft. You’ll either be trying to qualify for the “Academic” version or cough up more of your green backs for the next SKU…
Office Home and Business. Foley says that Microsoft recommends this version for the small business or home business. Package includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and Office Web Apps. It costs $279 if you want the shiny box, or an easier $199 if you’d like a download and product key. Seems awfully silly to not include all the extras from the Academic version. If you’ve got a fatter wallet you can buy…
Office Professional. The whole shebang. Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Office Web Apps and premium technical support. Cough up $499 for the real thing, or $349 for zeros and ones, plus your own fancy serial code.
Here’s a bit of good news for those pulling their hair out with Microsoft Works files: Office Starter 2010 Edition is going to be slated for as the OEM replacement for Microsoft Works. Let’s hope that it’s something smart that creates .DOC files, and not some arcane misshapen file format from hell.
Lastly, Foley notes that there are still two other SKU’s coming up: Office Professional Plus, and Standard. She hints that they’re possibly slated for volume licenses, since Microsoft’s most recent announcement seemed to include only retail editions.
So here’s my personal bottom line: OpenOffice is free. But are your customers willing to try it? Are you willing to recommend it? Or is Microsoft Office still the go-to suite for your customers’ desktops?