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Office 2010 pricing announced

Prices for Office 2010 have been announced with a new twist that looks cheaper but isn’t and upgrades dropped entirely.

Microsoft has announced some of the US retail prices for Office 2010 and there’s a new way to buy which looks cheaper but isn’t.

Boxed Product

This is the standard disk and product key in a box that we’re familiar with.  Also known as ‘Full Packaged Product’ or FPP.

  • Office Home and Student  $149
  • Office Home and Business $279
  • Office Professional  $499
  • Office Professional Academic $99

As in the past ‘Home and Student’ is a ‘family pack’ that allows installation on three PC’s in the same house.

The other three bundles allow installation on two computers (a desktop and portable, if the current licence rules continue).

Product Key Card

This is a new option where you ‘buy’ a Product Key only – no disk on a card (much like a prepaid mobile phone card).   This lets you convert a preloaded trial copy of Office 2010 to a fully licenced product.

  • Office Home and Student  $119
  • Office Home and Business $199
  • Office Professional  $349
  • Office Professional Academic  N/A

On the face of it you save between $30 and $150 buying the Product Key Card and downloading the software.

But beware of the fine print … in this case the fine print says clearly:

“The Product Key Card is valid for a single installation of the product.”

So you pay a little less but don’t get the two or three installation rights you’d get with boxed product.

The Product Key Card is the equivalent of the existing OEM Microsoft Office pricing which is also cheaper than retail and is also limited to a single computer.

Keeping that limit in mind – the Product Key Card might be better value if you definitely want Office 2010 for a single computer.  Most people install Office on two computers (desktop or portable, at least in theory) so the boxed product option would be better value.

As usual with new announcments from Microsoft, there’s more going on than meets the eye.  Office Watch will keep an eye on traps in this new way to buy Office.


Microsoft is dropping the whole idea of upgrade pricing for Office 2010.

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