The newest version of Office - version 2010 - arrives in stores next week (June 15).
This is a different model - no discount if you already own Office. We all have to buy the full version. At a time when Microsoft has to be feeling a hit from free services like Google Apps (for business and for education) and open source suites like OpenOffice, this new policy makes little sense.
You can save some cost by downloading the software or if it comes preinstalled on a new PC. The Home version (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) is $120. Schools get the full seven apps version for $100.
That's actually a bit less than they were charging for the 2007 version, but is that enough to compete against free?
Microsoft's product does have more features, maybe better speed than OpenOffice. and you can use it when you're not online and connected. And people are quite accustomed to using it - a big factor in organizations that don't want a lot of retraining.
Microsoft is not blind. They are also releasing their own free Web-based suite - Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on the Web. Free. Sort of...
Details: Microsoft announced that its Office Web service will be available to members of its free Windows Live online service (there are about 400 million active users worldwide). Office Web will also be free to enterprise workers who are licensed for Office's software maintenance program (Software Assurance). That adds another 90 million workers. Office Web will also be available as a paid standalone service.
What's your take (and your school's take) on this? Is this the time to try a free version? Will you pay for the new version? Will you move to the Web version with or without paying?