Productivity software

Office 2010 Review: Inside Microsoft's Newest Suite

Suite Deals: Skip the CD, Get a Discount

Office 2010 Product Key Card
The big news in Office 2010 pricing is not only that prices are down in general but also that you can get a significant discount if you forgo buying a physical disc, instead downloading the software, acquiring a trial version on a new PC, or installing it from a previously purchased CD. In any of those scenarios, you'll be able to purchase a card with a product key that you'll use to activate the software.

The version lineup is pared down, with only three editions to choose from at retail (versus five available for Office 2007), and the price declines are significant. For example, the $199 Home and Business edition (Product Key Card price) includes the same four apps as the $399 Standard edition of Office 2007 does--and adds OneNote. But if you spent a fortune on Office 2007 and were hoping for a break on the new version, forget it: Microsoft is not offering upgrade discounts this time around.

Whether you purchase one of the desktop Office 2010 editions or not, you'll be able to use Office Web Apps free of charge--but you'll need a Windows Live account either way.

Office Home and Student
What's in it: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote
Cost with disc: $149
Cost with Product Key Card: $119

Office Home and Business
What's in it: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook
Cost with disc: $279
Cost with Product Key Card: $199

Office Professional
What's in it: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access
Cost with disc: $499
Cost with Product Key Card: $349

Office Professional Academic (available only through academic resellers)
What's in it: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access
Cost with disc: $99
Cost with Product Key Card: Not applicable

Next: The Pros and Cons of Office 2010

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