New Office 2010 pricing announced: Office Web Apps included

Microsoft today announced its pricing for Office 2010, and a couple of new products may have some significant impact on Windows Live uptake with the addition of Office Web apps available directly from within Office.  We’ve known that Office Web Apps would be built in, but the new lower pricing for some skus should help to introduce Office Web Apps and Windows Live to new users.

In a blog post today outlining the new pricing, Rachel Bondi, General Manager, Microsoft Office, notes that Office isn’t just for, well, offices:

Many people think Office is just for the workplace, but millions of people are using Office at home, at school and for their small businesses to get things done. For instance:

  • According to the NPD Group, Office Home and Student was the number one selling PC software product — including games! — at retail in the U.S. during the week of Black Friday 2009.
  • Office Home and Student was one of Amazon.com’s top 3 Hot Holiday Bestseller software products in 2009.

Two new versions of Office 2010 will help to continue getting Office (and Office Web Apps, and Windows Live) into more hands with a $99 Office Professional Academic, and  Office Home and Business for $279 ($199 for the product key).  Both versions include Outlook, where the $149 ($119 for the key) 3 computer Office Home and Student version does not.

All of these versions (as well as the $499 Office Professional) will include entry points into Office Web Apps, allowing users to create, edit and save documents from either within Office or from the web.  Of course this also provides a convenient way to introduce new users to Windows Live, and as we’re beginning to see, Windows Live Docs will soon become an integral  part of both Windows Live and Office.