Available either singly or as part of a Microsoft Office program suite, Microsoft Word is one of the most-used word processing programs in the world.
Office Suite Benefits
Buying Microsoft Office products in software "suites" costs significantly less than buying the programs separately, but you may end up with more programs than you need. Microsoft Office is available in three suites at different price levels, with more expensive suites including more programs. The suites have a suggested retail price starting at $149.99 as of August 2010.
Purhasing Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is available for purchase and download directly from the Microsoft Office website at a price of $139.99 as of August 2010. Under most circumstances, you will probably want an Office suite, as the price for more potentially useful programs is much smaller as a suite than if you decide to buy more later. Purchasing Word singly is useful if you will definitely not use the other available programs or already have access to them.
Purchasing from Microsoft
Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office suites are available for purchase directly from the Microsoft Office website, with immediate download. Once you have put the product of your choice into the shopping cart, you are given an option of having a disc version of the program mailed to you for an extra $13.99 as of August 2010. The price is the same whether you purchase a suite or Word alone.
Purchasing from Vendors
Most online retail stores that carry computer products also have Microsoft Office products. They may also have sales or deals more often than the Microsoft website. If you choose to go this route, make sure you purchase a "product key card" and not the disc version, and you must purchase a suite, not Word singly. The card still needs to be shipped to you, but you can download the Office 2010 trial in the suite you have purchased, then record the product key when it arrives. Product key cards and program discs are also available in brick-and-mortar retail stores.