Microsoft cuts product prices, plans to improve enterprise support

Microsoft Corp. today cut prices for its retail products and added services for licensed products.

The company said it's lowering prices of Microsoft Office XP Standard and Microsoft Office XP Professional by 15 percent, and standalone applications Word 2002, Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002 and Access 2002 by 30 percent. Depending on the product, Microsoft estimates per-item savings of between $80 and $110, the company announced.

The company also said it will in September beef up its support for agencies that buy in bulk. In changes to its Software Assurance program, Microsoft will extend training, support and deployment, and management tools to customers who license high volumes of its software.

For example, Microsoft Office System customers will have new home-use rights, letting them install Office products on their home computers.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the price cuts are more in response to strained budgets than the ongoing battle with Linux and other open-source systems to dominate the federal sector.

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