It is because a few of the new versions of Office is going to be included for free with certain Windows 10 packages. For a lot of Windows users, upgrading to Windows 10 may also be free for the newbie. More premium versions of Office and Windows, however, includes an additional price tag.
So, this is actually the simplest I could get this to fairly complex topic. After all, we are referring to a bunch of different upcoming versions of Office, with different delivery methods (on device versus cloud-based, meaning it takes a web connection along with a monthly or yearly account), on a host of different desktop and cellular devices.
In other words, please keep in mind that it’s still early therefore we all still have a bunch of questions. However i hope this is a helpful early summary.
Windows 10 users can choose among the following tiers or SKUs: Home, Mobile, Education, Pro, Enterprise, and Mobile Enterprise.
We do not yet know any pricing estimates for Office 2016 itself, consider Windows 10 is part of the Office 2016 landscape, here is some information on which we all know about this, within the interim.
Windows 10 SKUs (or Packages and Pricing Tiers)
Here is a bit more detail I’ve summarized according to ZDNet’s recent description of estimates for every of those brackets. In that article, Mary Jo Foley explains this about existing Windows customers:
“Microsoft is making Windows 10 readily available for free for that first year to consumers with Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 as of July 29, 2015. This can be a limited time promotion that expires on July 29, 2016. When the promotion ends, Microsoft will start charging Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10.”
Note: As you evaluate the following list, you may also be interested in How to Preview Microsoft’s Universal Office Apps for Windows 10, or even the desktop Office 2016 preview links after the content.
Windows 10 Home (Estimated List price of $99): A desktop version for most consumers. Based on your device’s display size (10.1 inches or smaller), you should have free access towards the new touch-focused Universal Office Apps. It’s also wise to see: Cortana, new face- or fingerprint-recognition for login, and also the Edge web browser.
Windows 10 Mobile (No Estimate Yet): A mobile version for many consumers. Based on your device’s screen size (between 3 and 7.99 inches), you should have free access towards the new touch-focused Universal Office Apps and much more.
Windows 10 Education (No Estimate Yet): A version for students, teachers, administrators, and other employees of approved academic institutions. More detail about volume licensing and more to come.
Windows 10 Pro (Estimated List price of $199): A desktop and mobile version for consumers and professionals. This version enables you to also access Windows Update for Business.
Windows 10 Enterprise (No Estimate Yet): A desktop version for businesses interested in volume licensing.
Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise (No Estimate Yet): A mobile version for businesses thinking about volume licensing.
For even more detail, take a look at: Microsoft goes public using its list of planned Windows 10 editions.
When I do find out about additional pricing estimates or any other details, I will update this site for further comparison. For now, this hopefully can help you further piece together in which the next version of Office is headed.