Thinking about purchasing Microsoft Office, but you want to wait until Office 2010 comes out of beta? Don't bother; just pick up a copy of Office 2007 between now and September 30, and you'll be eligible to get a free upgrade to Office 2010, thanks to Microsoft's Technology Guarantee Program.
Microsoft apparently reconsidered its upgrade policy, after announcing in January that upgrade editions would not be offered for Office 2010. The Technology Guarantee Program has some restrictions, however, so here's the breakdown of everything you need to know to get your free upgrade.
Who is eligible for the Tech Guarantee?
To be eligible you have to purchase the complete Microsoft Office 2007 or single programs from the productivity suite between now and September 30, 2010. Purchases must be for a new copy of Office 2007 bought from Microsoft or an authorised reseller, and can be standalone purchases or bundled with the purchase of a new PC.
Who is not eligible?
This is a promotional offer for home users only. You are not eligible if you have Office 2007 through a volume license (typically business owners with five computers or more); promotional or not-for-resale copies; or bought Office 2007 through the Home Use Rights or Student Select programs. Students, however, are advised to check with their retailer as you may be eligible for an Office 2010 upgrade through that store.
I bought a copy of Office 2007 on eBay. Does it qualify?
No. Microsoft says, "eBay sellers or sellers reselling used product are not authorized retailers," and therefore products purchased this way are not eligible for the Tech Guarantee.
What are the deadlines?
You have to purchase and activate your copy of Office 2007 by September 30, 2010 to be eligible for the upgrade. You also have to request your Office 2010 Tech Guarantee upgrade by October 31, 2010.
What are the Office 2010 Tech Guarantee limitations?
This is a straight up trade. You only get one Office 2010 suite for every corresponding Office 2007 product. However, some versions of Office 2010 have added new programs, such as OneNote, that weren't a part of the corresponding 2007 suite. you can see complete details below.
Also, you can only get 25 Tech Guarantee upgrades per person. Microsoft has this restriction to encourage users with larger needs to sign up for volume licensing deals.
There are no refunds for Office 2010 software ordered through the Tech Guarantee program.
What do I need?
When it comes time to redeem your Office 2010 upgrade you will need to know the date of purchase for your copy of Office 2007, your Office 2007 25-character Product ID and a Windows Live account (if you don't have a Windows Live ID you will be prompted to create one). Microsoft also advises you to hold onto your receipt as proof of purchase for Office 2007, since Microsoft may ask for information from your sales bill.
Why do I need a Windows Live ID?
Microsoft says it will be storing your Office 2010 Product Key through your Windows Live ID in case you need to download Office 2010 a second time.
How do I get my Office 2010 Upgrade?
You can download Office 2010 as soon as it's commercially available in June. Make sure you've activated your copy of Office 2007, and then visit Microsoft's Office 2010 Technology Guarantee Website to download the upgrade. You can also request a DVD for a fee if you prefer not to install your upgrade through the Internet. Microsoft hasn't said how much it will cost to get the upgrade DVD.
Make sure you sign up for an e-mail reminder here (click on "Sign up for a reminder" button) so you won't miss out on the Office 2010 deal.
What version of Office 2010 do I get for my copy of Office 2007?
You get the corresponding version of Office 2010 to your Office 2007 suite. Home and Student 2007 users get Home and Student 2010 . Office 2007 Standard and Basic users will get Home and Business 2010. Small Business, Professional and Ultimate users get Office Professional 2010.
Check out the included chart, to see a complete list of Office 2007 to 2010 upgrades.
Which programs are in each version of the Office 2010 suite?
Microsoft Office Professional 2010: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access and Publisher.
Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook.
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
All suites include the 2010 version of each program.
Have more questions? Check out Microsoft's Office 2010 Technology Guarantee FAQ.