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Windows 10 to come with a free version of Office?

Microsoft Excel Mobile

While competitors like Apple and Google have been adding free productivity products to their operating systems (think Google Apps and Apple iWork), Microsoft remained silent.

The company used to give away free copies of Office Starter 2010 and Works back in the days but these were quietly phased out, leaving the market opened for other alternatives like Libre Office, Kingsoft or WPS.

But that will change with Windows 10; we know that Microsoft already offers a limited version of Office to mobile platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

We know that it is also working on Office Touch, which is now known as Office Mobile, one that can already be downloaded to Windows 10 via Windows Store and is essentially a cut-down version of Office 365.

Logical move

Now comes the first confirmation that Microsoft will bundle the three components of Office Mobile (Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and PowerPoint Mobile) with the desktop version of its operating system.

The first product that is getting it officially is the Archos PC Stick, a £63 ($100, about AU$ 130) HDMI PC dongle that plugs into a display (and is therefore not touch capable by default).

The product's press release specifically mentions pre-installed productivity software that includes the three aforementioned components of Office Mobile.

The move to give all users a free version of Office makes sense as it would be one more reason to encourage users to migrate from previous Windows operating systems.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.