Oh no! Microsoft have realized that free is a very good price and when Office 2010 is released in June of 2010 Office 2010 Starter Edition will be free. Zero cost. Finally every computer sold will be able be have a valid, licensed, version of Microsoft Office. The Starter Edition will be add supported. Just how many adds and how these will be displayed I don’t know.
Office 2010 Starter Edition will be released simultaneously with the rest of the Office 2010 suite, Sharepoint 2010 Server, Office 2010 Web Edition and Office 2010 for Windows Mobile.
I see this as a very wise ploy by Microsoft and Starter Edition will be a treat to the free productivity suites that are currently free. The release looks like a very interesting release and will pose a great and real threat to Google Apps on the web and Open Office and Lotus Symphony as the productivity suite. Of course one could put the opposite spin on the story and see it like Microsoft is reacting to the success of the open source and free counterparts.
For more information on Office 2010 Starter Edition listen to Windows Weekly 133: A Fish Called Windows.