Microsoft Office Starter 2010 is a free edition of Microsoft Office 2010 that is distributed only with computers and laptops from OEMs, that is, PCs you buy with Windows pre-installed. Microsoft Office Starter 2010 has reduced functionality and comprises of only Word and Excel. It doesn’t come with PowerPoint, Outlook or OneNote but what it does come with are advertising to make up for the ‘free’ price tag. Although it’s a cut down version, it packs enough functionality for many purposes, and if you can live with the non-obtrusive ads, this is a good replacement for the pirated edition of Microsoft Office you are running on your laptop.
Office Starter 2010 is not available for existing PCs, for example, Office Starter 2010 cannot be installed on new PCs being sold by resellers, even brand-new PCs. It isn’t sold through distribution or available to end users as a standalone product. Recently it was discovered that Microsoft stores Microsoft Office Starter 2010 on their servers, and downloads are publicly available.
You can download Microsoft Office Starter 2010 from this link. http://c2r.microsoft.com/consumerC2R/en-us/14.0.4763.1000/setupconsumerc2rolw.exe
Replace en-us in the URL with own locale string like fr-fr for French, de-de for German, es-es for Spanish and so on to download your localized version.
The above download link will download a 1.6 MB installer which will then download the rest of the files from the Internet. Since the download is huge (over 600 MB), you might like to keep an offline version of the installer so that you can install it on a computer that is not connected to the Internet.
German blogger Caschy has published a batch file that downloads the entire setup package from Microsoft servers. Download the batch file and execute it by double-clicking on it and it will download the full package to your hard disk.
Update: The above batch file will download the German edition of Office Starter 2010. To download the English version, open the batch file and make these changes:
1. Change de-de to en-us on Line 2
2. Change en-en to en-us on Line 14
What end users can do with Office Starter 2010
- Create and edit basic Word documents and Excel spreadsheets with 100 percent file fidelity
- Open existing Word and Excel documents
- Manage a simple home budget
- Write letters
- Create newsletters with photos and easily send them out
- Create portable edition of Office Starter 2010 to carry on USB stick
What end users cannot do with Office Starter 2010
- Create PowerPoint presentations
- Manage email with Outlook
- Organize notes, media, and project resources in one place using Microsoft OneNote
- Add comments or track changes to documents
- Analyze data with pivot tables
- Enhance documents with SmartArt graphics
- Automate and accelerate repetitive tasks using programmable macros
- Customize the quick access toolbar
- Connect to an external data source in Excel
- Create a report with a table of contents, footnotes, and bibliographies
- Turn off the advertisements
Image credit: ZDnet