Office 2010 Started to Feature Ads

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Microsoft has announced that the “Starter” version of its upcoming Office Suit, Microsoft Office 2010, is to be supported by advertising.

Microsoft Office 2010 Logo

Word comes from ArsTechnica that Microsoft’s Office 2010 Starter will be effectively free to use, though users won’t have the ability to install it; this will be a copy installed on new machines by OEMs, including just Word and Excel. Moreover, to ditch the ads and pull yourself up to a fully featured version of Office, you’ll be able to just pay for a key and Office 2010 will take care of the rest.

It’s interesting to see Microsoft going with an ad-supported model for Office 2010 Starter, if only because it’ll mean there’s a usable version of Microsoft’s Office suite out there that’s free at the point of use (as long as you’re only using Word and Excel). Certainly it’s a package that’ll be attractive to many students, for whom Word and Excel are really the big hitters in Office.

It’s also a little strange to see Microsoft not offering a free or ad-supported version of Outlook with this package, if only because people looking for a mail client will likely stumble across open source alternatives to Microsoft Office while they’re at it (we’re looking at you, OpenOffice.Org) or even Google Docs.

Regardless, it’s still an interesting move, and certainly one that stands to net Microsoft a significant block of new users who otherwise might not have bothered buying a copy of Office.

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One Response to “Office 2010 Started to Feature Ads”

  1. Rob Allen Says:

    Ooo, not sure this is a good forum for this , and you can supress this comment if you do not want this posted here, but there is a back to college offer for students on http://www.microsoft.com/ireland/backtocollege/ for a limited time, its basically office 2007 Enterprise (everything) for 50 squids Euro that might mitigate some of the pain of the expense of the software.

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