Microsoft's newest Office goes on sale Tuesday

/ Source: The Associated Press

The next version of Microsoft's Office software will be available to consumers and small businesses starting Tuesday. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

Office Home and Student 2010, the most basic bundle of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, will cost $150. The programs can be installed on as many as three home computers.

A $280 version also includes the Outlook e-mail program. A $500 bundle adds Publisher, a desktop publishing program, and Access, a database.

For the first time, Microsoft is also launching free Web-based versions of the four core Office programs. They will have fewer features than the desktop software.

Google already offers a similar set of free programs that run in a Web browser.