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Microsoft includes advertisting-based Office on upcoming PCs

Microsoft is to introduce a basic, advertising-based Office 2010 on all new PCs.

The company is releasing Office Starter 2010, which includes reduced...

Microsoft is to introduce a basic, advertising-based Office 2010 on all new PCs.

The company is releasing Office Starter 2010, which includes reduced functionality versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Users will have limited access to create, view, and edit documents.

The software is intended to replace Microsoft Works, the productivity suite currently installed on its PCs.

The company will include advertising in the programs' Task Pane.

Users can purchase a Product Key Card from electronics retailers to upgrade Office Starter 2010, according to the development group's blog. The activation card will unlock a full version of the suite, already pre-installed in upcoming PCs.

Microsoft is also offering a click-to-run version of Office 2010 for older computers. The software is run on virtualization technology, which enables users to run it side-by-side with previous versions of Office.

"We're introducing even more choice and flexibility for consumers in how they can try, buy and experience Office 2010 on new and existing PCs," wrote corporate vice president Takeshi Numoto on the development group's blog.

The news follows Microsoft's announcement of its prices for Microsoft Office in the US.

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