Microsoft Office released internationally

The latest version of Microsoft's productivity suite, Microsoft Office 2010, can be purchased in more than 35,000 retail stores around the world from June 15.

Office 2010 has been improved with new cloud-based functionality. Office 2010 users can store, view, share and edit documents in the cloud without formatting problems. In addition, the software provides advanced e-mail management, co-authoring facilities, the facility to create and deliver web-based presentations, better image editing, and integration with Office Mobile for Windows Mobile 6.5 phones.

According to comScore's Tech Metrix data, Microsoft Office software is installed on more than one billion PCs worldwide.

"Following the great response to the Office 2010 beta and the success of Windows 7, we predict this will be the biggest consumer release of Office, ever," said Stephen Elop, president, Microsoft Business Division.

With more than one billion users, Microsoft's Office is the stalwart of productivity suites but companies such as Google, Apple and Open Office are providing viable options for consumers hoping to avoid Microsoft-branded products.

Cloud-based productivity suite alternatives include Google Docs, Zoho Office Suite, ThinkFree Office, WordPerfect Office - all of which provide free (but sometimes limited) services and functionalities.

Microsoft Office 2010 is currently available in 10 different languages. The company plans to expand this to 94 languages in the near future. The Office Home and Student edition starts from $149 for a physical CD or $199 for a "Product Key Card" online download. Office Home and Business versions of the software are priced at $279 and $199 respectively and Office Professional will set you back $499 for the boxed edition or $349 for an online download.

For an in-depth look at the software, have a look at's review: