Prices are down on Microsoft Office 2007. If you’re considering an upgrade or buying a copy for a new computer, it’s a good time to go shopping. Costco, Buy.com, and Amazon all have similar prices.

Microsoft Office Home And Student 2007 is about eighty dollars. It can be installed on up to three computers. It includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote, the best program you’ve never heard of  – but keep in mind that this version does not include Outlook.

The upgrade version of Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 is just under $150. That’s the version with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and Publisher. At the moment this version is cheaper than the “Standard” edition with fewer programs. The upgrade requires a previous edition of Office – either installed on the computer, or demonstrated by insertion of a CD from a previous version. It can be installed on two computers, although the license requires that it only be used on one at a time – an office computer and a notebook used by the same person, for example. There’s nothing in the software to enforce that restriction.

The installation routine for Office 2007 has worked flawlessly for me. It copies the installation files to the hard drive – no more of those infuriating prompts to insert the CD that would come up years later when something changed in Office 2003. It automatically upgrades existing versions of the programs and removes all traces of the prior versions. The programs are improved in large and small ways – just make sure you’re ready for the new toolbars. In my experience, most people adjust quickly and find the programs are better organized and easier to use than the 2003 versions.