Office Starter 2010 Available As Free Download

Microsoft has offered a cut-down, ad-supported free Starter Edition of Office 2010 for quite a while now, but it has only been available pre-installed on netbooks and other low-spec PCs. At the moment, however, you can download the whole thing for free from Microsoft's servers.

I use Starter Edition on my travel netbook, and I can't say the advertising (which appears in a permanent right-hand screen pane) has ever bothered me — virtually all of it just suggests upgrading to one of the full versions. You don't get the full Office experience — no Developer tab and no macros, for instance — and there's only two apps included: Word and Excel. But free is a lot cheaper than full-edition Office, which can cost as much as some netbooks if you buy the Professional edition.

If you're already happy using Libre Office or, there's no obvious reason to switch to this, and there's definitely no reason to if you already have a "proper" copy of Office. If, however, you use the full Office apps on your main machine and don't have enough licences to go around, then having effectively the same thing on your other PCs can be very useful.

Note that since the link is to a downloadable .exe file on Microsoft's servers, rather than a fully hosted page, its official status is unclear and Microsoft might well pull the download in the future.

Office 2010 Starter Edition [via Tweaking with Vishal]


    Its not a bad idea but I think any of the other office packages on a netbook are better just because of system resources

    This came out on OzBargain this morning. It was criticized for it's advertisement and fat ribbon at the top. Many people preferred libre office as a freeware version to this.

      I am a person who uses LibreOffice (LO) almost everyday. Try out the extensions available with LO and OpenOffice (OOo). It makes LO / OOo even more useful. Here are some very good extensions for LO / OOo:
      - helps detect some grammar mistakes
      - Requires Java 6.0 or later.
      For Ubuntu (Linux) users I recommend they download libreoffice-java-common from the Ubuntu Software Center.
      that lets you quickly & easily upload to Google Docs

      I also recommend "The complete Writer Guide" (It's also free):


      LibreOffice is truly empowering software!

    It's Very nice to see Microsoft recognising that people will choose freeware office suites with very comparable features over something you pay 200 dollars for. Very disappointing thinking a cut-down, advertisment-supported version could compete.

    They have no clue, do they?

      Personally, I don't mind the ads and enjoy the connectivity with Office Web Apps/Windows Phone. I'll take Office Starter over LibreOffice, but understand it's not for everyone. I also understand that making sweeping generalisations such as "They have no clue, do they?" makes you look stupid.

      I'll take it as a nice way to complement my LibreOffice usage with something that has (presumably) 100% MS Office compatible where that is essential (vs LibreOffice's ~95% compatibility)

    OpenOffice is the one I use.. but my fiancee` doesn't like the OO interface etc.. She is not very tech savvy so she likes to stick with what she knows... which is MS Office.. so we have the Office Starter pack..

    I'm uninstalling OOO to make way for this. The startup times have been annoyingly long in recent months and I've found myself using Google Docs for quick spreadsheet calculations.
    I also much prefer the way Word handles styles and the 2010 UI is, in my opinion, a real step on.
    I'll stomach the ads. I manage well enough with Google Docs's Ads. The bloody Toyota ad on this page however... accidentally moused over it and the video appeared off the top of the page. Had to reload the page and lost my comment. Running Chrome 15.0 so you'd hope it's not the browser's fault...

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