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What is the Blue Edition of Office 2010?

written by: Brian Nelson•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 3/8/2011

Of the four MS Office versions offered to retail customers, and the two editions of Office 2010 offered only to businesses, none is the fabled Blue Edition. We explain the legend.

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    In 2008, Microsoft launched worldwide legal action against numerous defendants over their selling of high-quality counterfeit Microsoft software via online auction websites. One of the most interesting tidbits to arise out of this action was the existence of the so-called Blue Editions of popular Microsoft software, including Office 2007 and Windows XP. (And presumably Vista, although it appears that no one was selling counterfeit versions. You know people really hated Vista, when the pirates wouldn't even bother to rip it off.)

    While the company never directly acknowledged the existence of the blue editions of Office 2007 or Windows XP, numerous technical sources stepped forward to clear up the confusion.

    office 2007 blue edition The Office 2007 Enterprise Blue Edition, as it is known in both technical manufacturing circles and hacker circles, is actually not a real Microsoft product at all. There is no Office 2007 Blue Edition, whether Enterprise or not. However, what does exist is a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise that is provided to certain Microsoft technicians and to computer manufacturers known as OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). That DVD that the software comes on is colored blue.

    As is often the case in technology circles, whatever the official name of this special version of Office was, those around it developed their own slang terminology instead. Hence, the DVD with Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise for OEMs and Microsoft technicians became known as the Microsoft Office Blue Edition.

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    Where Can I Get Office 2010 Blue Edition?

    The existence of a blue DVD with Microsoft Office Enterprise on it might have been nothing more than a novelty of computer software trivia if not for one very important detail. As the software installed on laptops and computers by companies like Dell and HP, as well as the software used by Microsoft techs troubleshooting problems on other people's computer systems, the blue edition of Microsoft Office does not require any activation or licensing keys to use.

    Obviously, a copy of software that can be copied, installed, and used on as many computers as you want, anytime you want, without having to activate it, find a serial number, or jump through any other anti-piracy hoops is exactly what every pirate, hacker, and cheap-skate end user in the world wants. As a double-bonus, because the so-called blue edition of Office was legitimately installed on tens of thousands of machines worldwide, it could not be patched or updated in order to shut down pirated versions of the software.

    Thus, the extreme desirability of the MS Office Enterprise Blue Edition.

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    Will There Be an Office 2010 Enterprise Blue Edition?

    Obviously, OEMs still have to install software on computers, and Microsoft technicians still need to be able troubleshoot system problems. However, the boys in Redmond have some new tricks up their sleeve to keep there from being a blue edition of Office 2010 this time around. Then again, several websites around the world, and numerous Bittorrent sites are offering the Office 2010 Blue Edition for download.

    Disclaimer / Warning: Downloading pirated software can be dangerous. While most people are aware of the potential for viruses, that is only the tip of the iceberg. A little tweak to a single file, or a single additional registry setting can render a computer vulnerable in a variety of ways that would not typically be detected as virus behavior. I advise you to NOT download pirated software. If you do, you do so at your own risk and with full knowledge that you will be committing a crime and putting your data at risk. If you really want to get Office 2010 but don't want to pay the full price, find someone you know who is a student and get the Office Academic Professional 2010 Edition for less than $100 without risking viruses, detection, or legal trouble.

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