July 15, 2010, 2:28 PM — Have you looked at the new Microsoft Office 2010 yet? How many of its few, new features does your company really need? And are these features worth the investment? Here are five reasons your company doesn't need to purchase Office 2010.
1. No More Upgrades
You can access the Microsoft Web site right now and purchase one of three versions of Office 2010. Office Professional is $499, Home & Business is $279.95, and Home & Student is $149.95. However, if you are looking for an upgrade price, forget it. Microsoft has decided not to offer upgrade pricing anymore.
After searching thoroughly for information about upgrades, I finally found the answer on a Microsoft FAQ page, and it plainly states that in order to "simplify" things, they are no longer providing version upgrades. You can still find better list prices from various independent vendors if you search the Internet. For companies that have access to academic pricing, vendors such as JourneyEd provide better discounts than Microsoft. Nonprofits can find steep discounts through Tech Soup.
Next to Windows Millennium, Vista, the Office 2007 Ribbon, and the Kin bombshell, this is the worst marketing decision Microsoft has ever made. If these other four major blunders have not already soured you on Microsoft, this new upgrade policy will surely make you sick. Maybe this is a good time to dump the software king and start looking for other options.
2. Free Alternative Programs
Speaking of other options, there are always alternatives, such as OpenOffice from OpenOffice.org, a Microsoft Office semi-clone that's free to download for anyone who wants it. There are some areas that could use improvement, and a feature by feature comparison shows some differences in the visuals such as graphics, animations, and special effects. But Microsoft has never been strong on graphic capabilities either, so you won't miss much by switching to OpenOffice.