Microsoft announced some more information about the free, limited version of Office that will be offered to PC builders after the launch of Office 2010. CNET heard the product features scaled-down versions of Word and Excel and will feature an ad rotation system that will show a different ad every 45 seconds. However, for the foreseeable future the software giant doesn't plan to sell this ad space to third parties, the main goal will be to urge users to upgrade to a paid version of Office. The upgrading process will be very simple, nothing will have to be downloaded because the free version of Office will include the full code of Office 2010, it only has to be unlocked through the purchase of a new product key card.
"There's no scanning of the document," he said, a clear dig at rival Google. Instead the ads will say things like "Don't you miss PowerPoint" and encourage people to upgrade.
As for what users can do with the applications, Capossela said that Word will be capable of opening and displaying even the most complex documents. However, Office Starter users won't be able to use macros, create automated tables of contents, or add comments, though they will see comments added by others.
The approach with Excel is similar, with users able to view and edit documents, but not create their own pivot tables and pivot charts, for example.