After an extended period of open beta testing and an official launch last month, Microsoft Office 2010 officially goes on sale in stores across the globe from today.
The release of the software has been a somewhat staggered affair – a business version was released on May 1st, while Microsoft broadcasted a series of webcasts a part of a 'launch' event on May 13th.
The utility package, which includes ubiquitous programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excell and Access, registered over nine million beta downloads – more than six times the size of the Office 2007 beta. Microsoft is expecting strong sales at retail on the back of this interest.
The firm is making much out of new delivery methods for the software, including blanket pre-installing it on PCs, then selling users the activation key if they want to access it.
“Working with major retail partners and PC makers, we’ve made dramatic changes in the way we deliver Office 2010 to give consumers more buying choice, making it easier than ever to unlock the power of Office on new and existing PCs,” said Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft Business Division. “For the first time, people can purchase a Product Key Card at retail to activate Office 2010 preloaded on new PCs. For those who want to download Office 2010 direct from Office.com for an existing PC, the new Click-to-Run technology will have them up and running in a matter of minutes.”
You can see Microsoft's launch video below.