Today, Microsoft Office 2010 officially hit the shelves—most of which are digital. Microsoft’s suite of business, home and academic productivity applications has long been known for its byzantine pricing and marketing efforts which, in spite of heavy coverage by the media, few consumers get a full grasp on. It seems that no matter what price someone pays for a Microsoft Office product, they always get the vague feeling that they could’ve paid less. And in many cases, it’s true.
Part of the challenge is that there are numerous licensees running numerous different versions and editions of Microsoft Office. While some consumers are buying new PCs with stripped down OEM-versions of Microsoft Office 2007 pre-installed, entire corporate departments are still running Microsoft Office 2003 Professional. Add in the slew of academic discount versions available and it can be tough to peg a definitive price on the latest and greatest Microsoft Office version.
In a move to simplify the complexity of getting Microsoft Office 2010 up and running, Microsoft has completely nixed the notion of upgrade pricing. Previously, owners of a copy of Microsoft Office 2003 could upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007 for a deep discount, as long as they had a qualifying product. This amounted to big savings, since Office 2007 originally hit the shelves at prices soaring above and beyond $600. Now, Microsoft Office is opting to offer a single, low-priced Product Keycard which will activate Office 2010 regardless of any earlier version product you might have. You can nab a Office 2010 Product Keycard for as little as $119.
But in spite of the simplified pricing, there are still opportunities to pay much less than retail price for any given version of Microsoft Office 2010, which rings up at a low of $149.99 for the Home and Student version and a high of $499.99 for the Office Professional 2010. The middle of the road option—Office Home and Business—is $279.99. But here are a few ways you can get discounts:
Buy from an Online Retailer
Amazon and Newegg are among the online retailers offering Microsoft Office 2010 at a discount. For can get a copy of Microsoft Home and Student 2010 for $129.99 at both sites. This is the "boxed” version that comes with a disc.
Buy a Product Keycard in-store
The Product Keycard version of the software—which is nothing but a product key that activates a license for a pre-installed or downloaded trial version of Microsoft Office 2010—already comes with a deep discount from the retail and boxed versions. But some stores, such as Best Buy, are offering $20 off Product Keycards with new computer purchases. With this deal, you can easily get your Microsoft Office 2010 upgrade for as low as $99.
Get it Free with Technology Guarantee
If you bought a qualifying Microsoft Office 2007 product between March 5, 2010 and September 30, 2010, you can get a free copy of Microsoft Office 2010 through the Technology Guarantee program. This is offered in lieu of upgrade pricing to avoid the righteous indignation of recent Microsoft Office customers who just missed the newest version. Of course, there are a number of caveats and eligibility requirements—for example, if you bought a version off eBay or from another unauthorized reseller, you’re likely out of luck—so it’s best to pop on over to the Microsoft website to get the full details.
Microsoft Office 2010 is getting rave reviews, and the new marketing and pricing tactics are helping ease the fear that customers are overpaying for this product. But like most great deals, these offers are valid for a limited time.