As expected, Microsoft Corp. Wednesday launched its first public beta of Office 2010, posting the preview for download on its Web site.
Microsoft added a download link for the beta to its Web site Wednesday. At press time, there was no download link on Microsoft’s Canadian site.
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Users who download Office 2010 Beta are provided with a 25-character product key to activate the preview.
Earlier in the week, Microsoft made the beta available to developers and IT professionals who subscribe to the MSDN (Microsoft Developers Network) and TechNet services, hinting that the public version’s launch was imminent.
Microsoft also launched a public beta of Office Web Apps, its entry into the online Web applications market. Two months ago, Microsoft cranked up an invitiation-only preview of the online editions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but delivered bare-bones versions. Word Web App, for instance, allowed testers only to view Word documents online, not edit them.
People who download Office 2010 Beta can try out the public preview of Office Web Apps by using a Windows Live account to create, edit, store and retrieve documents online. Office Web Apps require Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) or later on Windows; Firefox 3.5 or later on Windows, Mac and Linux; or Safari 4.0 or later on the Mac. Microsoft today launched a public beta of Office Mobile 2010 as well. That suite, which runs on Windows Mobile 6.5-based phones, includes scaled-back versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and new SharePoint Workspace Mobile 2010. It can be downloaded from the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, DelBene said.
DelBene did not set a timetable for the release of Office 2010, keeping to the company line that the suite will ship in the first half of next year.