Microsoft Office 2010 Beta

Do you always feel like you’re behind the 8-ball when it comes to new software offerings from Microsoft? Just when you’ve finally figured out how to type a letter or change the margins in your document, Microsoft releases a new version of the software, forcing you to upgrade at their convenience and causing you to suffer through the learning curve once again.

How would you like to finally get a head start on the “next release” of Office 2010? Now you can start learning the newest version while still maintaining your “old” version of Office allowing you to stay productive.

Why would you want to upgrade to Office 2010 anyway? WARNING: The following paragraph is strictly Microsoft Marketing Babble – take it with a grain of salt and feel free to form your own opinions!
According to Microsoft, Office 2010 offers you rich and powerful new ways to deliver your best work – at work, home or school – on your computer, from a Windows Mobile-based Smartphone or via a Web browser. Quickly and creatively grab your audience’s attention and inspire them with your ideas by using enhanced and easy-to-use tools, customizable templates, color schemes, and photo-editing capabilities. With a new co-authoring experience, you can work with people from different locations at the same time. And by offering more ways to access your files from almost anywhere, Office 2010 puts you in control of getting things done according to your schedule. Simplify your tasks and create amazing results with Office 2010 — wherever life takes you. (end of Microsoft Babble)

One slick new feature is Click-To-Run
If you have High Speed internet access you’ll be able to use Click-To-Run to download and install the beta. Click-To-Run uses virtualization to allow you to use your Office programs as they are streamed and cached on your computer. If you have a slower internet connection you’ll be forced to download the entire program prior to installation (the Click-To-Run option downloads 3MB of data to start the install – the downloaded file otherwise is 600MB total.)

There is one small caveat – isn’t that always the case? What happens to your current version of Microsoft Office when you download the Office 2010 Beta?
Upon installation of your Office 2010 Beta, you may be offered the option to Upgrade or Customize. BE CAREFUL if you want to maintain your original installed version of Office. Clicking Upgrade results in only the newer Office 2010 Beta product remaining on your machine, but you may explicitly select to have multiple versions of Office coexist with the exception of Outlook and SharePoint Workspace (formerly known as Microsoft Office Groove 2007). These applications cannot co-exist with previous versions so you will need to select one version of the program to have installed on your computer.

If you are not offered the option to Upgrade or Customize, the default behavior will be for your Office 2010 Beta to co-exist with your previous Office product(s).

What happens to the Office Beta applications after the final release?
Office 2010 Beta will become non-functional on October 31st, 2010. The non-functional product may be removed from your computer by using the Programs and Features option from within the Control Panel. If you selected to perform an upgrade to a previous version of Office when you installed you will need to manually reinstall your previous version, or you may choose to download a new trial or purchase the full version of Office 2010 to update your software.

If I’ve I peaked your interest, you can download the Office 2010 Beta here:
http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/default.aspx

Be sure to click around this site for additional information and to see a video of Office 2010 in action.

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