officeprofMicrosoft has now launched the new Microsoft Office 2010, which is now available from all major retail outlets as well as the online computer stores. We thought it might be a good idea to gather the pricing from these stores and compare them in a price comparative table while offering some tips on the most efficient way to buy the new Office suite.

Before we get to the table details, one thing that did become quite apparent was the fact that the major retail stores are not the best place to buy this product. They also cannot provide the product key cards (PKC license) which are ways in which you can buy multiple licenses at a reduced price.

In this article I’m not going to go into the attitude and selling skills of the major stores that I came across, to be fair I would imagine they are all geared to having face to face sales skills. What was quite surprising was to notice how efficient and responsive the online stores were when it came to me requesting pricing and availability of the product, not to mention the fact that the pricing was far more reasonable than the major outlets.

Microsoft do not dictate the retail pricing and a phone call to the helpdesk confirmed this fact. On the bulk pricing side, we were referred to one of the volume pricing resellers. Volume pricing comes in two options, one is the Standard licensing and the other is the Professional Plus licensing. These licenses allow users of a single company who purchase at least five or more licenses, a small price reduction, product support and product upgrade cover. The Standard package has the same modules as that of the Home and Business but includes Publisher. Whereas the Professional Plus has the same modules as the standalone Professional version but includes products like Communicator, InfoPath and SharePoint Workspace.

Remember that when you buy office Home and Student in the full-pack version, you automatically receive three licences to be used in one household; where as the product key card only allows you a single license which needs to be used by the same person but can be installed on two systems. For example an installation on a computer and a notebook but used by the same person.

The new Office 2010 Starter package will be shipped with most new computers and is a limited version of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Whether these limited versions will work with third-party applications that require Microsoft Word is yet to be seen and we would encourage the vendors to inform us on the compatibility of these limited Office versions with their software. This Starter version is absolutely free but as we mentioned, is limited in functionality.

To arrive at the pricing comparison, we called the retail stores and asked for either an e-mail or a telephonic quotation for the various versions of Microsoft Office. These prices include VAT. Should you wish to purchase from these vendors, please confirm the pricing with them directly.


Product Makro Game Incredible



Comx Nivo
Home & Student R999 R1000 R1099.95 R1000 R782 R799
Home & Business N/A R2500 R2699.95 R2499 R1738 R1739
Professional R4999 R5999 R6999.95 R5999 R4534 R4529
Home & Student PKC NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote R678
Home & Business PKC NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote R1629
Professional PKC NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote NoQuote R3079

Comx –
Nivo –

Let’s use a10 user license as an example to show the pricing one would receive if going with the Microsoft Volume Licensing option.

MS Office Standard 2010 Single OLP license @ R3862.90 each, for 10 users it would cost R38629.00. To use these licenses you would need to buy a DiskKit MVL DVD which would cost an extra R245.44, but can be used on each computer for the installation. So this would be R38874.44 for the 10 users.

The equivalent MS Office Home & Business for 10 users would cost R1739 each (Full product to get the installation disk) of which you would need only one to have the install DVD, then add the 9 licenses of the Product Key Cards (PKC) @ R1629 which would cost a total of R16400 for the 10 users.

The value add for the Volume Licensing OLP is that the MS Outlook includes the Business Connection Manager (BCM) and the package also includes the Publisher program and allows usage of the Web access via the SharePoint Server if installed. There is a certain upgrade protection with the purchase.

My advice here is if you want to buy anything up to 10 licenses look at the Home & Business offering, buy one FPP (Full product package) and 9 PKC (Product Key Cards) – it will save you a fortune. I am told that once the volumes increase the Volume Licensing starts to be more competative.



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