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Microsoft to charge for Office betas

Actually, it's a 'cost recovery measure'

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Microsoft is to start charging $1.50 for beta versions of Office 2007. From 2 August anyone wanting to download the software will have to pay the small fee.

The company claims this is the result of the success of the trial - 3m people have downloaded the software - so Microsoft needs to charge to cover server costs.

A statement sent to the Reg reads: "We are thrilled with the incredible excitement around the upcoming 2007 Microsoft Office system as evident by more than 3m people using the beta 2 since its release two months ago.

"Having exceeded our beta 2 participation goals by 500 per cent, we have had to make the business decision to implement a cost recovery measure for future downloads of beta 2 beginning 2 August, 2006."

Customers can experience the 2007 Microsoft Office system without having to download the product by participating in the online test drive, which is available here.

Microsoft Australia is closing its Office 2007 download service completely - more from ZDNet here. ®

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