office 2010As you probably know, most new Windows PCs often come pre-loaded with Microsoft Works which is like a stripped-down version of the Microsoft Office suite.

This will however change as Microsoft has discontinued further development of Works and they’ll instead include a basic version of Microsoft Office 2010 with new PCs that will again be free but may have ads. The new version, known as Office 2010 Starter Edition, will include Word and Excel applications but with limited functionality.

To learn more about Office 2010 Starter, watch the following video where Office program managers Brian Albrecht and Scott Kahler also explain things that you can do with the Starter Edition.

If you are part of the Office Live Workspaces newsletter, you may have already received an email invite from Microsoft to join the Office Starter 2010 Beta program but in case you haven’t, here what you need to do.

Just fill in this quick survey (this is to assess that you computer can run the Office Starter edition) and you might be invited for the pre-release test. The email says:

All you need to do is use Office Starter 2010 Beta at home over the next few months, and let us know what you think. Office Starter 2010 includes Microsoft Word Starter 2010 and Microsoft Excel Starter 2010, which are great for basic tasks like writing letters, editing your resume, or creating a family budget.

[*] The public beta of Office 2010 will start later this year though you can try Office Web Apps now itself.