Washington: Microsoft`s latest version of its popular Office software went on sale worldwide on Tuesday.
The Redmond, Washington-based software giant said Office 2010 was available at more than 35,000 retail stores around the world, from online retailers such as Amazon.com or for download through Office.com.
Office 2010 has also been preloaded on desktops and laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony, and Microsoft said it expects more than 100 million PCs to ship in the next year equipped with the software.
Office 2010 features updates to the ubiquitous spreadsheet, email, presentation and word processing programs used by tens of millions of businesses: Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word.
Microsoft, citing comScore data, said more than one billion PCs worldwide have installed Office software, making it the most widely used productivity suite in the world.
The latest edition of Office includes a Web-hosted version aimed at countering competition from emerging "cloud" products offered by Google.
For the new version of Office, the first since 2007, Microsoft is offering Office Web Apps -- online versions of its most popular products which work directly in a Web browser and are hosted on servers in the "cloud" instead of on personal computers.
The move is seen as a response to the challenge posed by Google and others offering free online cloud-computing programs.
The top-of-the-line version of Office costs 499 dollars while others are priced at 99 dollars and 149 dollars. Google Apps are free to individual users while businesses are charged 50 dollars per user per year.
Microsoft said Office 2010 was available on Tuesday in 10 languages and would be available in 94 languages over the next few months.