Ars Technica contacted Microsoft to ask for a clarification about the lack of upgrade copies for Office 2010, and this is the answer they got from the Redmond software giant:
"We are not offering upgrade pricing for Office 2010," a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed with Ars, "Based on partner and customer feedback we've made many changes to the Office 2010 line-up designed to simplify the product line-up and pricing in the retail space. Removing version upgrades was one of those decisions. This reduces the number of products that our retail partners need to manage and also reduces customer confusion about which version of Office they should purchase."
This seems like a straightforward answer: take the upgrade option away, and customers can only pick a full retail copy. Of course, this does mean customers have to pay more to upgrade to the new version of Office, but while that sucks for us, it's a good thing for Microsoft's bottom line.
Luckily, though, Microsoft does allow us to save money when buying Office 2010, and sadly, their idea of simplification kind of falls apart right here. Each Office 2010 SKU will come in two variants: Full Packaged Product (FPP) and Product Key Card (PKC). The former is self-explanatory, but the latter is not. A PKC version is just a license, so it doesn't come with installation media. You can download the trial version and unlock it with a PKC, or you can use the media from a FPP (from a friend or whatever, that doesn't matter).
Yes, Full Packaged Product and Product Key Card are totally simpler than full and upgrade.
I'm not really into using these internet-isms on OSNews, but I can't think of anything else.