Microsoft mistakenly reveals free Office 2010 upgrade offer

Microsoft Office 2010 logo

Microsoft has inadvertently revealed that anyone buying Office 2007 from next month will get a free upgrade to the forthcoming Office 2010 suite.

A blog post detailing Microsoft's Office 2010 upgrade plans was mistakenly made live on the software vendor's US Partner Community portal late last week. Microsoft quickly realised its error and removed the post, but not before the news had leaked.

According to the post, written by Charles van Heusen under the appropriately titled "In The Know" banner, anyone who buys Office 2007 from an authorised vendor between March 5 and September 30 will be eligible for a free upgrade to Office 2010, which is set to launch in June.

To be eligible for the scheme, which is labelled the Microsoft Office 2010 Technology Guarantee Program, users must register their copy of Office 2007 before the September 30 deadline, and apply for the upgrade by the end of October by providing Microsoft with a valid Office 2007 Product Key and sales receipt.

According to the leaked blog, the upgrade will be offered either as a free download or as a physical DVD for the cost of shipping.

Upgrades will be offered on a like-for-like basis, wherever possible, though the matter is complicated by Microsoft's restructuring of the packages it will offer. So, for example, Office 2007 Standard users will receive Office 2010 Home & Business, while Office 2007 Small Business will be bumped up to Office 2010 Professional.

Microsoft sent out a Release Candidate of Office 2010 to select testers last week, but has yet to announce an official launch date for the finished article.