Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer, plans to go head-to-head with Microsoft, the world's largest software company, by launching a range of own-brand software this month in 100 stores nationwide, reports Digit magazine.
Claiming to be the first retailer to offer a range of own-brand software, Tesco believes that with its low prices and wide customer appeal it can become a significant player in the £8.8bn computer software market.
The retail giant will enter the market with an initial range of six products: two security/antivirus products; a personal finance tool; a complete office suite; a CD/DVD burning tool; and a photo-editing tool. The software will be sold alongside its computer hardware, following Tesco's entry into this arena earlier this year, and online.
The titles are likely to sell for less than £20 each, massively undercutting rivals' prices – notably Microsoft Office, which sells for up to £300 – and potentially proving attractive to entry-level users. The software will be available in more than 100 Tesco stores, with plans to roll out the range across the UK over the next 12 months.
Commenting on the deal, Tesco buyer Daniel Cook said: "With more people working from home and schools encouraging greater use of IT, the demand for home computing equipment is bigger than ever.
"Customers can now access a wide range of good-quality computer hardware at amazing prices, but when it comes to software there is little choice and prices are high.
"Our new range of software changes this, bringing choice and value to a market that has offered little of either for too long. Whether running a home office or helping the kids with homework Tesco Software can help."
Tesco's own-brand software has been developed by Formjet, a software company based in Cambridge. The company will provide full customer support, as well as design, run and maintain the Tesco Software website.
Formjet CEO Lyndon Chapman said: "Tesco has the power to reach an entirely different environment and customer to traditional computer stores; we intend to work hand in hand to offer market-leading quality software, at a Tesco price point.
"The development of the products was only part of the transaction. The real test was providing a comprehensive technical and support service to enable a first-class backup."