Microsoft stops shipping Office Starter with new PCs
New users will instead be offered an Office 2010 trial and details on how to upgrade
Microsoft will stop shipping Office Starter 2010 with new PCs, killing off the cut-down productivity suite before Windows 8 arrives.
Previously, Office Starter was included in the OEM pre-installation kit (OPK) of software sent to manufacturers, and included ad-supported versions of Word and Excel, but not Outlook or PowerPoint.
That will be replaced with an Office 2010 Transition OPK, which will instead push users to download a trial of the Office suite and offer a link to buy the full version. The free Office Web Apps will also be available for users not wanting the full version.
"We will begin to phase out the shipment of PCs with Office Starter 2010," Microsoft said in a statement sent to ZDNet. "After Windows 8 becomes available, most new PCs shipped will not have Office Starter."
Microsoft said the Transition OPK would be required to be included on all PCs running Windows 8, expected to arrive within months.
Users who already have Office Starter 2010 and want to upgrade to Windows 8 don't have to worry about losing their software, provided they first install a patch.
"People who use Office Starter 2010 today will continue to be able to use the product for the life of their PC," the Microsoft statement said. "For Windows 7/Office Starter 2010 users who want to upgrade their PC to Windows 8 and continue using Office Starter 2010, they will have to install an update to Microsoft Office 2010 which is available today."