If you buy a Windows 7 PC in the future, you might not be getting that copy of Microsoft Works nobody uses. Instead it will come with a completely free version of Office 2010. Oh…
Office 2010 Starter Edition, that is
. It will be a limited functionality version of Office supported by Ads. The nature of the ads was not made clear.
According to Microsoft, the Office Starter Edition will have, “a simple path to upgrade to a fully featured version of Office 2010 directly from within the product.” This is probably an effort to get customers used to Office features in the hopes that they will purchase the full version. Microsoft will have to walk a fine line to make the ads annoying enough that people will want to get rid of them, but not so annoying that they don’t even use Office.
The new PCs will already have the full version of Office 2010 installed on the hard drive. Customers will simply have to purchase a card from a retailer with the unlock code. The card will apparently be sold through some “major electronic retail outlets”. Microsoft hasn’t detailed which OEMs would be installing the Office Starter Edition software. Try to contain yourself waiting for this one.