Microsoft Office 2010 Starter: Details emerge

Office 2010When Office 2010 is released in June, on many computers there will be a special Office version, replacing pre-installed Works. This Office version, Office Starter, contains trimmed versions of Word and Excel. Chris Capossela, Senior Vice President of Microsoft’s Information Worker Product Management Group, talked about some Office 2010 Starter details.

Word and Excel in Office Starter will display permanent advertisements reloading every 45 seconds. In the near future, only Microsoft ads for Office programs will be shown, for example to hint users to PowerPoint, available in the paid Office versions. This happens independently of the document contents that won’t be indexed.

Capossela described some of the missing features in Office 2010 Starter. For example, the trimmed Word can display even complex documents, but cannot run macros. Furthermore, Word isn’t able to create Tables of Contents automatically, and cannot insert comments into documents. However, comments added by users of normal Word 2010 can be read. Restrictions in Excel are comparable with the ones in Word: Users cannot use advanced features like PivotTables or PivotCharts.

If you want more than the existing features, or need PowerPoint, you have to buy one of the full versions. Microsoft will make this upgrade easy by shipping computers with pre-installed Office Starter with the full version as well, so you only have to enter a valid key to get it running. Until fall 2010, Capossela expects around 80 percent of all sold computers to be shipped with Office Starter.