Windows Office 2010
With seven editions to choose from buying Microsoft Office
2010 might seem like a daunting task although only three are
actually available through the usual retail methods. Each edition
adds a few more features than the last and a few pounds to the
price tag. This guide looks to give a brief overview of what to
expect from each edition and whether or not it’s worth your
Firstly, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter
Edition is only available as a preloaded application on newly
purchased PCs. It’s essentially free although is the only edition to
not include the new Word or Excel programs, instead opting for
basic word processing programs. If this is all you need then stick
with this free version of office but beware of the advertisements
that come with it!
Office 2010 Home and Student offers a lot of what the Starter
Edition does not; not only Word and Excel but PowerPoint 2010 and
OneNote 2010. This edition is available for around £70 and unless
you’re looking for Outlook 2010 and Publisher then this is as far as
you need to look.
Microsoft Office 2010 Home and
Business offers Outlook but not Publisher and is available for
around £150. Do you really need Access and Publisher? If so,
you’re going to have to pay around £225 for the privilege and
invest in Microsoft Office 2010 Professional. Microsoft Professional
Academic is identical except for the £50 price tag. The catch is it is
only available from designated educational retailers and there’s
criteria you must meet for the discounted price.
Professional Plus edition comes with InfoPath, Microsoft
Communicator 2010 and SharePoint Workspace 2010 although, like
Microsoft Office 2010 Standard, is only available if you’re buying
licenses in bulk. The more licenses you buy, the cheaper they’re
likely to be.
In terms of actually purchasing Office
2010, there are two methods for the versions that are on general
sale. The Boxed Full Versions, available from retail outlets and
online, come with full CD copies of the applications, full hard copies
of the manuals and licenses for two PCs. The Product Key Cards
are essentially just the product activation codes that can be used
to download one installation of Office 2010. The Product Key Cards
a good deal cheaper than the full boxed versions.
other alternative to purchasing an entire Office edition is to use the
Office Web applications. These are internet browser based
versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint and offer a limited
functionality not dissimilar to Word and Excel Starter versions but
with the added benefit of PowerPoint. They’re not robust enough
to replace the traditional versions of the programs although form
somewhat of a bridge between Microsoft Office 2010 Starter and
the rest of the editions.
In conclusion, it’s best to stick
with the Starter Edition until you’re sure you’ve a need for
programs available only on the higher spec. editions. Then, simply
find the cheapest edition that meets your need which, in most
cases will be either Office 2010 Home and Student for power point
presentations, Home and Business for Outlook email, or
Professional for Publisher and Access.