New software to replace Microsoft Works

Ad-based Office 2010 to come on new PCs

Microsoft is introducing a advertising-based version of its Office software to all new Windows PCs.

According to the Microsoft Office product development group’s official blog, the software giant will pre-load a new package called Office Starter 2010 onto all new machines.

The company describes it as “a reduced-functionality, advertising-supported version of Office 2010”, and it will replace Microsoft Works, the package which currently comes with Windows PCs.

Office Starter 2010 will include versions of Word and Excel, with the basic functions for creating, viewing and editing documents.

Users will be able to buy a product key from electronics retailers, allowing them to upgrade to the full version without any additional software.

Microsoft is also allowing customers to download trial or full versions of Office 2010, which will run alongside any existing version of the software on the user’s computer.

It is unclear how advertising will feature in Office Starter 2010.

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