Which Version of Office 2010 is Right for You?

Office 2010 is shipping as of now and for many people, the question isn’t “should I?”, it’s “which one?” As always, there are multiple versions of the productivity suite available, each tailored to a particular segment of the market. Which one is right for you? Read on to find out.

If you’re a home user or student, you should definitely check out the entry-level Office package, Office Home & Student. It’s only $149 and comes with the most essential Office programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

A step up from that is Office Home & Business which includes the four above programs plus Microsoft Outlook. (Casual email users can likely get away with the free Windows Live Mail instead, if they want a desktop app or the new Hotmail, if they prefer a webmail program).  This version is $279.95.

The Professional version of Office is for advanced users who want it all: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. This edition is $499.95. However, if you’re a student or teacher at a qualified academic institution, you can get all those same programs at a greatly reduced cost (only $99!) via the Office Professional Academic offering.

Finally, if you’re purchasing Office along with a new PC, you can get an even better discount via the Product Key Card version. Key cards are disk-less versions of the Office software – instead of CDs or DVDs, you download Office from the web. The key card you purchase is just that – the product key on a card.  In this case, Home & Student is $119, Home & Business is $199 and Professional is $349.

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