This will come as no surprise but UK users are going to have to cough up more for Microsoft Office 2010 than their counterparts in the US.

The office productivity software will cost between £109.99 and £429.99 - this compares with $149 and $499 for the US versions - equivalent to £94 and £316 at current rates of exchange.  

On the face of it, the cheapest offering, Office Home and Student, is not too much of a divergence from the US pricing, particularly as the UK pricing contains VAT and the US doesn't include sales tax. But an international business buying the top of the range Office Professional will be looking at paying £100 more for the software in the UK than they will in the US. In addition, there is no special upgrade price for users wishing to move from Office 2007 to Office 2010.

Microsoft has tried to sweeten the pill by introducing a free starter version of Office (replacing the Microsoft Works that used to be on every Windows PC) and by introducing Product Key versions where users buying new PCs will be able to download Office 2010 by activating the product key - as these are priced at £89.99 for the Office and Home edition and £299.99 for the Enterprise edition, this represents a considerable saving. However, the product key versions will be tied to that computer - unlike the boxed versions which can be used on up to three computers.

The third Office 2010 product, the mid-range Office offering will cost £189.99 (Product Key Card), or £239.99 (boxed). 

Microsoft rolled out the Release Candidate version of the software earlier this month with the full version expected in June.