Microsoft Office Starter Edition Gets the Ax

Source: Microsoft Office 2010 Logo/ Wikipedia

With the Windows 8 coming later this year, the upcoming Microsoft Office 2013 will follow suit earlier next year. However, the company will ditch its Office Starter 2010. In a documentation published on its official website, the Washington-based company explained why it yanked the said product.

OPK versions prior to the Office 2010 Transition OPK installed on Windows 8 PC may create a bad user experience for Office Starter 2010.

More About the Office Starter 2010

Created by Microsoft in 2009, the Office Starter 2010 served as a replacement for Microsoft Works—an entry-level application suite that was offered to original equipment manufacturers for bundling with new PCs.  It features Word 2010 and Excel 2010, and was designed to give users a taste of the full suite in hopes that they will get the paid editions afterwards. The paid Office Starter versions include Office Home and Student 2010 ($150) and Office Home and Business 2010 ($280).

Although Office Starter 2010 is not time-sensitive, it limits the Word and Excel functionalities. Furthermore, it is the first Microsoft desktop suite that included advertisements. As of the moment, the company offers a downloadable 60-day trial Office software.

Ditching the Office Starter 2010

However, Microsoft is retiring the Office Starter 2010 with “bad user experience” as their motive. In relation to this, the company also told OEMs to switch to new tools for factory installation of the Microsoft software on new Windows 7 PCs. Labeled as “Office 2010 Transition OEM Pre-installation Kit” or OPK; the new tools do not include Office Starter 2010. On the other hand, it can be used to install Security Essentials and complete Office 2010 editions.

The company also recommends that OEMs should use the new tools to install Office on Windows 7-eqipped PCs. Meanwhile, OPKs will be “required on all Microsoft Windows 8 PC builds.” They will also have to load their desktop computers with Office 2010 and not the 2013 version. Users of new Windows 7 PCs with Office Starter 2010 and Windows Update will receive a notification about necessary updates once they upgrade their machines to Windows 8.

Speaking of Office 2013, Microsoft didn’t send out word about the software’s price and release date. However, it is slated to go on sale for several months after Windows 8 becomes available. An Office 2013 public beta, previously dubbed as Office 15, is also expected to be available this summer. Furthermore, the company will allegedly push Office Web Apps, the free online version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

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