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MS Office 2010 launched today

Office Starter replaces MS Works 9.0

Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft Office 2010, the latest version of the software giant’s office productivity suite, goes on sale today. 

The full package includes Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, Publisher and Access.

Office 2010 will complement Microsoft’s new Office Web Apps feature: cut down versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote, allowing users to store, view, edit and share documents online.

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The Home and Student edition (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) costs £110 for three licenses. The Home and Business edition (which includes the Outlook email client) costs £240 for a single licence. The Office Professional edition (which includes Publisher and Access) costs £430.

Office Starter 2010

MS Works 9.0, which made its debut in 1986, will not be part of Microsoft’s product range after today’s launch. It will be replaced with MS Office Starter 2010, a cut-down variant of the full Office 2010 package. From October 2012, Microsoft is to drop support for its MS Works.

Analysts say the move is part of the software giant’s drive to push customers towards MS Office 2010 and away from free alternatives such as OpenOffice.org and Google Docs.

Office Starter includes limited versions of Word and Excel, but no Outlook or database component. Although users will be encouraged to upgrade to the full version of Office 2010, Office Starter is not considered to be a demo version and, as such, has no usage time limit.

Significantly, Office Starter will also contain advertising, though currently this is restricted to Microsoft products only.

PCs, laptops and netbooks

A Dell UK spokesperson said that from June 2, Office Starter was pre-installed as standard on their current Inspiron, Studio and Studio XPS systems. Acer and Asus has included Office on their PC products from that date.

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