Microsoft have announced a time limited offer for new buyers of Office 2010 to get a free upgrade to Office 2013 when it is released.
This Pre-Launch offer is available to those who purchase, install, and activate a qualifying (and genuine) Microsoft Office product during the offer eligibility period of 19 October 2012 to 30 April 2013. Qualifying products include the following Office products:
Office Home and Student 2010
Office Home and Business 2010
Office Professional 2010
Office University 2010
Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 etc.
Individual Office products such as Word 2010 and Outlook 2010 are also covered by the offer – see full details of terms and conditions here. There are a couple of things to watch out for:
1. Office 2013 requires Windows 7 or Windows 8 – users of XP or Vista can’t upgrade to it. It will be available in a new subscription-based edition (Office 365) or a traditional PC-based licensing model.
2. The version of Office 2013 you are eligible to upgrade to is based on the Office 2010 product you purchased and activated e.g. if you buy Office Home and Student 2010 you will be offered a choice of upgrading to Office Home and Student 2013 or Office 365 Home Premium.
Office 2013 – All Office 2013 products are for 1 computer only whereas versions of Office 2010 may come with a license for 2 (Home & Business) or 3 (Home & Student) computers.
Our understanding is that you can only upgrade one of these 2010 computers to the Office 2013 equivalent – if you want Office 2013 on the other(s) you will have to pay again for a new 2013 version or consider upgrading to the new Office 365 alternative instead.
Office 365 – For home users, Office 365 Home Premium includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access – equivalent to Office Professional 2010 and a substantial improvement over Office Home & Student 2010 which does not include Outlook, Publisher or Access.
However, Office 365 Home Premium costs $100 per year to use the software (on up to 5 PCs or Macs). Although upgrading to it will give you the first year for free, you would have to pay every year to keep using it.
So 4 years would cost a total of $300 whereas Office Home & Student 2010 only costs around $123 from Amazon - for 3 computers for life. Whether it is worth upgrading may depend on how much you value/need the extra products like Outlook and the new features of Office 365.
See Microsoft site here for full details of the offer.
This offer to new Office 2010 buyers of a free upgrade to Office 2013 (or Office 365) may help those users who were putting off buying Office until the new version is released. However, it pays to be very clear as to which upgrade path you wish to take (if any) – especially before moving to the annual subscription model of Office 365.