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Microsoft To Sell Office Starter 2010 From $2

Microsoft will make an early push to sell a cut-down version of its Office 2010 productivity suite through computer resellers by providing them with a deal they can't refuse.

PC manufacturers will be charged as little as $2 per Office Starter 2010 license provided that they install the Bing Bar and Windows Live Essentials on the computer.

The latter includes the likes of Messenger, Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Family Safety and Sync. The next version of WLE, known as Wave 4, is set to be released soon and will include the Bing Bar altogether.

Manufacturers will also be required to change the browser default to Bing and MSN Homepage, failing to do so will see the price of the Office Starter 2010 shoot up to $5.

The package will also include a so-called Office Single Image which is a locked component that includes Office 2010 Home & Student, Home and Business and Professional editions.

The new Office Starter 2010 will be made up of Office Word Starter 2010 and Office Excel Starter 2010, both of which are ad-supported and will offer only basic editing and document creation capabilities compared to the full versions.

Resellers will then be encouraged to sell "whenever possible" a product key card or a traditional disc which will allow the user to upgrade immediately to the full version of Office.

Interestingly, Microsoft hasn't made it compulsory to install Security Essentials possibly because of potential software conflicts even though MSE is a more helpful Microsoft application.

You can hear from Gordon Frazer and Scott Dodds from Microsoft UK on 12th May from 3pm BST. Then listen to Stephen Elop’s live keynote from New York on 12th May at 4pm BST.

Later, you can choose from a variety of on-demand sessions that are relevant to you regarding the launch of Microsoft Office 2010 and Sharepoint Server 2010.

Désiré Athow

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 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.