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Shopping for Microsoft Office 2007

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/13/2009

Do you want Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook, but nothing else? You can and should consider that because it saves you a bundle over buying the Microsoft Office Small Business or Professional suite. Microsoft offers five suites. Find the right one and at the right price.

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    Microsoft offers Microsoft Office 2007 in various packages and at multiple prices. After all, personal users now use more than just Microsoft Word. Students use PowerPoint to create projects and presentations. Adults use Excel spreadsheets to manage finances.

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    Microsoft Office 2007 Suites

    Knowing that it has a diversity of users with some who can't pay $300 or more for the complete suites, Microsoft provides five Microsoft Office suites with prices ranging from $149.95 to $679.95. Here are the highlights of the available suites:

    • Home and Student: This cheapest package contains just the basics with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. Notice it doesn't come with Outlook. However, many computers come with Outlook pre-loaded or they can download a different email client.
    • Standard: Same as student except it replaces OneNote with Outlook.
    • Small Business: Same as standard plus Accounting Express 2008 and Publisher 2007.
    • Professional: Same as small business plus Access 2007 for creating and managing databases.
    • Ultimate: Comes with everything including Groove 2007 (collaboration tool) and InfoPath 2007 (information gathering app).

    Outlook for Small Business, Professional and Ultimate suites come with Business Contact Manager. All editions except Home and Student show two prices. One is the full edition and the other is an upgrade. If you have Microsoft Office 2003, you can upgrade to 2007 and save over $100.

    Microsoft offers volume licensing for educational organizations needing more than five copies. Volume licenses vary by campus or school.

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    Searching for Best Prices

    Go to your favorite shopping search engine to search for "Microsoft Office 2007 Student PC" (add the "PC" so you don't get books in your results) and you'll receive prices ranging from as little as $73 upward to $197. Considering Microsoft reports a price of $149.95, you know that the $197 price tag is outrageous. Remember to verify the number of licenses and the edition when checking prices.

    The $73 price doesn't exist. Search results are imperfect or they have old information. Maybe it was $73 in an online auction that has since ended. The cheapest price from a store as of this writing is $79.99, but going to the store reveals it retails for $89.99. Maybe they had a sale and the sale ended or sometimes the search engines don't receive the right information.

    Don't automatically buy the cheapest one. You don't want an illegal copy, do you? Take care when buying software in auctions. Check out the seller's background before bidding.

    Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) software refers to full-version software that comes with no fancy packaging or manuals (like we really read the manuals). OEM software usually ships with hardware such as a new computer. These tend to sell for less because of the lack of packaging and a manual.

    Furthermore, Microsoft OEM software doesn't include tech support on OEM products. It is legal to purchase OEM products. Pick the suite that meets your needs, search for it on the many shopping comparison sites and research the seller. These steps will ensure you buy a legal copy of Microsoft Office 2007 for the right price.