Office 2010 price increases

Office 2010 can be 50% more expensive than Office 2007.

Microsoft’s price announcement for Office 2010 tries to disguise a significant price increase compared to Office 2007.

The removal of upgrade discounts has led to price increases.

There is the usual rearrangement of the content in MS Office bundles which makes direct comparisons less accurate. Nonetheless looking at the prices of similar bundles reveals some price increases that will improve the Microsoft treasury.

The biggest increases are reserved for Office Professional customers while the Home and Student edition remains the same price.

Home and Student edition

The Office 2007 and Office 2010 versions of the Home and Student both contain Word, Excel and PowerPoint with three installation licenses for use in a single household.

The Office 2007 bundle officially costs US$149 and that’s the same price given for the Office 2010 bundle. In practice you’d expect to pay about $100 or less.

However this option is not available to non-home users, at least not officially.

Home and Business edition

The Office 2010 Home and Business edition has Word, Excel. PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote with two installations (desktop and portable machines) for a single user.

Office 2007 doesn’t have a ‘Home and Business’ bundle. The nearest equivalent is Office 2007 Standard which has Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook. The same license limits apply. Only OneNote is missing compared to the Office 2010 bundle.

Office 2007 Standard is priced at US$399 or $239 as an upgrade.

Office 2010 Home and Business is officially priced at $279 with no upgrade discount.

For full purchases the new pricing represents a 30% decrease in price, however past users of Microsoft Office will pay 16% more. It’s reasonable to expect that most retail sales of Office 2007 Standard (indeed all the retail bundles) are from existing users of Office, so the net result for Microsoft is more revenue.

Professional edition

Both Office 2007 and Office 2010 have a ‘Professional edition’ with Word, Excel. PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and Access. The Office 2010 version of the bundle adds OneNote 2010 and appears to drop the ‘Business Contact Manager’ extra to Outlook.

The retail price of both the 2007 and 2010 Professional bundles is $499 but the dropping of the upgrade discount price ($329 for Office 2007 Professional) means that existing Office users (the majority of retail bundle buyers) will pay a whopping 51% more.

Much as we love OneNote, it’s hard to justify an effective price increase of $170 for the addition of OneNote to the Professional bundle.

Microsoft has yet to announce the single product prices for Office 2010 programs however it is possible that it will be cheaper to buy Office 2010 Home and Business or Home and Student bundle plus an individual Office program like Outlook 2010 or Access 2010 – compared to buying a bundle which has all the applications you want plus some you don’t.

Certainly this option is available for Office 2007 see A cheaper option for Office 2007 Standard where Office Watch shows how you can save buying the Office 2007 Home and Student bundle plus Outlook 2007 separately.

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