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Microsoft To Replace Works With Free Office 2010 Starter Edition

In a move aimed at exploring an advertisement based revenue model, Microsoft has decided to discontinue its MS Works application suite and replace it with a free Office Starter 2010 edition which will be supported by ads.

The Office Starter 2010 is expected to come preinstalled on many new Windows based systems and its users will have an option to upgrade to a full paid version of MS Office by using activation cards which are likely to be available at major electronic stores.

As expected since early this year, the new Office Starter 2010 is essentially a stripped down version of MS Office suite and it will not include standard business oriented applications like Outlook or PowerPoint.

Though not much is known about the kind of ads Microsoft is planning to push through the application, most analysts believe that it will avoid using flashing text, pop ups and other annoying stuff which can put off home users.

As opposed to trial versions of MS Office that used to come with preinstalled Windows systems, the Office Starter 2010 will not have an expiry date.

It also comes with a “Click to Run” feature which allows users to test out the functionality of the software while the software gets downloaded in the background.

Our Comments

It will be interesting how this Office 2010 starter edition will fare against the cut down version of Office which will be available online and compete against Google online Apps. Microsoft must make sure that this doesn't impact on its Office applications business. Ballmer et Al can't take any risk here.

Related Links

Microsoft to put free Office Starter 2010 on new PCs (opens in new tab)

(Computer World)

Microsoft To Offer Free Version Of Office 2010 (opens in new tab)

(CRN)

Ad-Supported Office Starter 2010 to Replace MS Works (opens in new tab)

(PC World)

Microsoft plays ads-funded Office 2010 Starter gambit (opens in new tab)

(The Register)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.