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Microsoft cuts Mac Office prices up to $50

Microsoft reduced the price of Office 2008 for Mac by as much as $50 for its annual holiday sale, although some online retailers cut prices even more.

For the promotion, which kicked off Tuesday and runs through Jan. 5, 2010, Microsoft dropped the suggested list price of the Home and Student edition, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage, by $20 to $129.95, a reduction of 12.5%.

The price for Business Edition, which adds support for Microsoft's Exchange and SharePoint server software, dropped $50 to $349.95, a 13% savings. Microsoft also cut the price of the upgrade to Business Edition by $40 to $209.95, a 16% reduction.

Microsoft has cut prices of its Mac suite in the past. In 2008, for example, the company dropped the price of the now-discontinued Special Media Edition by 50% from its usual $499.95 list.

Tuesday, some retailers posted even more aggressive deals for Office 2008 for Mac. Amazon.com, for example, posted Home and Student at $109.99, or 27% under suggested list price, while MacMall.com had the same edition at $109.94. Amazon was selling the Business version for $319.99, an $80 savings, and the upgrade to Business Edition for $189.99, while ClubMac listed the same software at $299.99 and $169.99, respectively.

Two months ago, Microsoft pared the number of Office for Mac editions from three to two, dropping Special Media Edition and renaming the standard version as “Business Edition.” Around the same time, Microsoft announced that it would replace the often-hated Entourage e-mail client in its Mac suite with a version of Outlook, and ship the next version of the bundle in time for 2010's holiday sales season.

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