Microsoft has confirmed its Office 2010 software suite will be released next June, with a Mac OS X version expected sometime after the Windows launch date.
The company plans to release six different versions of Office 2010, with a free edition also in the works. The six models range from Starter, Home and Student, Standard, home and Business, Professional, and Professional Plus editions.
The free version has built-in ads and limited functionality of the paid versions, so it should be interesting to see how it performs compared to a normal edition.
Furthermore, Office Web Apps, a cloud-based productivity suite, will also launch alongside Office 2010 — making some consumers wonder who Microsoft is aiming this software towards.
Writing long papers inside a Web browser isn’t the most appealing option, and high school or university students have been somewhat difficult to market software to — although the Office Home and Student versions of Office have proven to be Microsoft’s top selling pieces of software since 2006, Microsoft noted.
Aside from the software aimed towards students, it appears most other users would be able to sufficiently use Office Web Apps for shorter documents.
Microsoft’s Office 2010 Professional Plus includes Word, Excel and typical Office software, but doesn’t include Project 2010 or Visio 2010.
Microsoft hasn’t released pricing information for the software yet — but it’s possible additional details will be revealed during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
A public beta version of Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus is now available, and I recommend giving it a try. The public beta will end on Oct. 31, 2010. The software will be available via MSDN and TechNet in May, or released to stores in June.