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A Free Version of Microsoft Office?

Will Microsoft Office soon be free? Sort of. The company has announced that they will be allowing computer makers to bundle a special version of the product into new PCs, starting with Office 2010 (here you can get Microsoft Office cheap from Software Keep Canada). The planned program, Office Starter 2010, will replace Microsoft Works.

Chris Capossela, senior vice president of Microsoft, told CNET that the new software will feature scaled-back versions of Word and Excel and while it’s free, will include advertising. Ads will change every 45 seconds and all be for Office itself, not other content. The ads will not scan the content of your documents but will simply encourage you to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010.

Capossela also told CNET that Word will be “capable of opening and displaying even the most complex documents.”

On the other hand, according to CNET, Office Starter won’t have the ability to “use macros, create automated tables of contents, or add comments, though they will see comments added by others.”

To get more features you would have to upgrade to the paid version of Office 2010, and Microsoft is not only using advertisements to encourage that but including codes that will make it easier for users to upgrade. All new PCs will have the codes embedded so users can simply upgrade with a new product key card.

Microsoft hopes that over 80% of PC users will have Office Starter soon, but Capossela told CNET that it would really be up to the computer makers. Right now, many PCs have a combination of Microsoft Works and a trial version of Office 2007, and those computers will probably be on the shelves through this fall. Read more about the new product at CNET.

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