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Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 02:00 pm PT (05:00 pm ET)

Microsoft offers free 30 day trial of Office for Mac

Rather than listing Office for Mac on the Mac App Store, Microsoft is offering a new 30 day free trial for the suite, something that can't be done through Apple's App Store.

In contrast to smaller developers such as Pixelmator, which have embraced the new Mac App Store enthusiastically, Microsoft (along with Adobe) hasn't released any titles through the Mac App Store yet.

It has released Windows Live Messenger and Bing search apps in the iOS App Store, in addition to the new iPhone OneNote, a note taking component of Office for Windows that hasn't ever been ported to the Mac.

Were Microsoft to release Office for Mac through the App Store, it would likely become a top selling title, much as iWork has on the iPad and Mac App Stores. There are some modifications Microsoft would need to make however, including not being able to install background processes, needing to be self contained, and being unable to use undocumented, private APIs.

For the time being, Office for Mac is only available from conventional resellers on physical disc media or direct download from Microsoft, with Amazon offering the best price for the Home and Student package.

Product
Retail
Direct Download
Amazon
MacMall
Buy.com
MacConnection
B&H
Discount
Microsoft Office 2011 Mac
Home & Student $119.99 N/A $99.99 $99.99 $115.99 $119.95 $114.99 $20.00
Home & Student (Family Pack) $149.99 $149.99 $124.25 $125.51 $127.45 $142.13 $125.99 $25.74
Home & Business $199.99 N/A $174.99 $174.99 $177.99 $189.95 $173.99 $26.00
Home & Business (2 Pack) $279.99 $279.99 $228.43 $228.43 N/A $250.80 $227.99 $52.00