Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering

The official blog of the Microsoft Office product development group

New Ways to Try and Buy Microsoft Office 2010

New Ways to Try and Buy Microsoft Office 2010

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We’re thrilled about the growing number of people who are using Microsoft Office every day to get things done at work, at home, at school and on the go. For instance:

  • 500 million people worldwide use Microsoft Office
  • From July, 2008 through June, 2009 – Office 2007 experienced 92% year over year growth in trials, equating to 23 million trial downloads
  • Office 2007 Home and Student edition has been the top selling PC software title at US retail for the last two years

On the heels of such positive momentum, we’re excited to talk about big improvements in the way we’ll deliver the next version of Office to consumers.

Along with the great product innovations we’re delivering in Office 2010, we’re introducing even more choice and flexibility for consumers in how they can try, buy and experience Office 2010 on new and existing PCs. This includes:


Product Key Card and Microsoft Office Starter 2010

clip_image002For consumers who purchase a new PC, Microsoft is working with major PC manufacturers and our retail partners to make it simpler than ever to try and buy Office 2010.

Through our retail partners, Microsoft is introducing an all-new Product Key Card to help consumers more easily access and experience Office 2010 on new PCs that have been pre-loaded with Office 2010. The Product Key Card is a single license card (with no DVD media) that will be sold at major electronic retail outlets.

An added bonus: The card’s packaging is smaller than the full package (DVD) product, and is eco/retail-friendly. The key number contained on the card will unlock Office 2010 software that has been pre-loaded by the PC manufacturers on their PCs, and enables a simpler and faster path for consumers to begin using any one of three full versions of Microsoft Office – Office Home & Student 2010, Office Home & Business 2010, or Office Professional 2010.


As part of Office 2010 software that will be pre-loaded by the PC manufacturers on their PCs, we’re introducing Microsoft Office Starter 2010. Office Starter 2010 is a reduced-functionality, advertising-supported version of Office 2010, available exclusively on new PCs. Office Starter 2010 will provide new PC owners with immediate exposure to the Office 2010 experience on new PCs right out of the box.

Office Starter 2010 will include Office Word Starter 2010 and Office Excel Starter 2010, with the basic functionality for creating, viewing and editing documents. Office Starter 2010 will replace Microsoft Works, offering a consistent Office user experience, such as the Ribbon, with a simple path to upgrade to a fully-featured version of Office 2010 directly from within the product.

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Click-To-Run technology for downloading trial and purchasing Office 2010

For people who want to try or buy Office 2010 on existing PCs, Microsoft is unveiling Click-to-Run, a new and enhanced download experience for consumers. Click-to-Run makes it easier than ever for customers to try or buy Office digitally by significantly reducing the time and effort required to download Office 2010 over the Internet. Click-to-Run automatically downloads and installs any software patches when connected to the Internet, helping people maintain and keep their Office software up-to-date. Click-to-Run uses virtualization technology so it allows customers to maintain multiple versions of Office. This enables them to try Office 2010 side-by-side with the existing version of Office.

We will have the broad beta of Office 2010 later this year and invite people to become familiar with Office 2010, in the way that works best for them, and then easily upgrade to a full version of Office Home and Student 2010, Office Home and Business 2010, or Office Professional 2010 when they’re ready to buy. To find out more information about Office 2010 visit

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Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Office

  • Sweeeeet!  Can't wait to try it out!

  • Will technet subscribers get access to this beta anytime soon?

  • I'd like to know if it would be possible to download the trial version of Office 2010, then if I decided to upgrade to the full version instead of having to buy the full DVD or purchase online would I be able to buy a Product Keycard from a store instead. Alternitavly buy the Keycard from a store and then download the program.

  • Office 2010 Starter doesn't sound that great at all.


    The fact that it is ad-supported puts me off from using it whatsoever, I know some people that share this opinion as well.

    BUT, It's nice that they have a chance to get familiar with MS Office if they haven't already done so.

    Balances out everything else.

  • I noticed that the Product Key card says that it is only for use on one computer; this to me is a step backward, unless it will be cheaper than the traditional boxed version of Office 2010 Home and Student.  Office 2007 Home and Student allows you to install the copy onto 3 computers in the same household, and this has made it possiable for many families to switch to Office from a free competator since the cost per computer worked out to be so cheap.  Please do not change this with Office 2010 ... keep letting Home and Student run on 3 computers!

    Also, I think you should reconsider and let Office Starter be a free (or cheap) download from Microsoft.  If it is advertising supported then you will still make money from it, and many people (especially in Asia) still buy custom-built computers that are not bundled with software.  If they can download this, it will get them started using Office for free, and they are much more likely to buy the full version (I've sold friends on Office 2007 just by them watching me use it ... if the interface is the same nice, consistant one from Office, it will catch them the same!).  Also, users of older versions of Office could download this, use it and see if they like the new interface without the time-limits of a trial, and then upgrade into full Office.  If you make it an absolutely free download, I think it will all-in-all increase your marketshare and help (rather than cut into) your revenue.  Please consider doing this!

    Thanks, and thanks for amazing products!  Keep up the good work :)

  • And regardless of whether you use it or want it, it'll be loaded and bloated up on the computer.

    Hey Microsoft, I own my own house, but could you please let me buy a key to the third bedroom?  Second thought, you just keep my third bedroom.  I don't need it.  

  • What about those not buying new PC-will Works still be offered?

    As they will not be able to get the "starter" version of Office 2010

    At least a portfolip

  • How about hackers unlocking the preloaded version. Has Microsoft addressed this issue. You lose out sooo much on pirated copies.

  • Good. Looking forward to install Office 2010 beta.

  • Looks great! I can't wait to play with it. :)

  • While Office Starter *will* replace Works (for obvious reasons) on new computers, there will also be Office Home and Business (for both new and existing computers) based on the same technology (C2R), Office Web Applications (an online-only, and absolutely free, version of the core Office applications) and traditional versions of Office Home and Business, Office Professional, and Office Mondo (which replaces both Office Ultimate and Office Enterprise).  Non-C2R versions will include both x32 and x64 (the x64 is new in the case of Office), and the C2R versions will run on both x32 and x64 versions of Windows (except XP64).

  • 1) The Product Key Card is not a new concept. Office 2007 had Medialess License Keys (MLKs) which were exactly the same thing. These were slightly cheaper than the full retail package.

    2) Click to Run, in my experience, has always been slow to start whatever the application, even if just a small app, nevermind the Office beasts. I'd be interested to see what the user experience is like for that

    3)Wouldn't it be of benefit to offer Office Starter as a free download rather than only for OEMs? It could be downloaded as part of the Windows Live package or maybe even through the new Office Web apps

  • I love Microsoft Office. It is very useful. Thanks for sharing this new information.

  • FAO: P

    "And regardless of whether you use it or want it, it'll be loaded and bloated up on the computer"

    Click Start, Control panel, Programs and Features. Un-install Office.

    Glad to help.

    I've been using the Beta of 2010 (Pro) for two months and it's a really, really nice package with great additions, mainly Outlook.  I'll try and probably run the free version at home. Thanks MS

  • Hello everyone – thanks so much for your comments, it’s great to see all this interest and discussion about our new Office Starter offering. I’d like to take a quick second here to address a couple of the questions and comments above. First, the Office Trial program will still exist as a download option for people who have existing PCs that want to try out Office 2010 before purchasing. You will be able to activate directly from the trial.

    We are discontinuing the Works product with the launch of Office 2010. There are a number of new Office products that will be available, including Office Home and Student.

    Thanks again for your feedback, you can catch a glimpse of Office Starter (and the built in advertising) in the video posted above.

    Brian Albrecht

    Group Program Manager – Office Starter

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