It is not uncommon for Microsoft to launch a "technology guarantee" program ahead of a new version of Office or Windows, offering buyers of a product late in one cycle an upgrade to the new version once it comes out. So it's not a shocker that Microsoft has one planned for Office 2010.
That said, Microsoft wasn't quite ready to tell the world about the program. Nonetheless, an employee briefly posted details of the planned upgrade offer on a blog. It was quickly pulled down, but the cat is out of the bag. (The post also lives on in a Google-cached version, as noted by Ars Technica.)
According to the now-removed posting, the program will kick off March 5, meaning people who purchase Office 2007 between March 5 and September 30 can get a free upgrade to a comparable version of Office 2010. Users will be able to download Office 2010 as soon as it is made broadly available. Customers can also order a DVD, for a small fee.
Buyers get one copy of Office 2010 for each eligible copy of Office 2007 they buy, with a limit of 25 free upgrades per person.
Microsoft said any posting was done in error and the company has nothing to say about a tech guarantee program.
The company did confirm to CNET earlier this week that it has given some testers a near-final "release candidate" version of Office 2010, with the final version due to go on sale in June.
Meanwhile, SD Times has a post up on its Web site noting that Microsoft is considering some new subscription pricing options for business users of Office. Microsoft declined comment on that report.