Feeds

Microsoft squirts out Office 2010 public beta

Testing times ahead

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Microsoft plans to punt five different flavours of its Office 2010 suite when it lands in the first half of next year.

Customers will be able to get their hands on Ribbon-wrapped Standard, Home and Business, Professional Plus, Professional and Home and Student editions of the software, with three of those versions hitting public beta testing status today.

In Microsoft’s previous iteration of the suite, customers were faced with eight different Office 2007 SKUs.

The company’s UK Office client manager Karen Buckley said Microsoft had "simplified" the SKU line-up.

"We’ve taken the number of SKUs down from eight to five in Office 2010… We have a new Home and Business SKU for companies. On the volume licence side we have 2010 Standard and Pro Plus, but for businesses Pro Plus is really the one we recommend.”

Office Ultimate, Enterprise and Small Business editions that were available in the 2007 version of the suite have been scrapped for the next major release of the software.

Microsoft hasn't revealed prices yet, and it's also sticking to its guns on when the finalised version of the software will be released by reiterating that Office 2010 - that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Office Web Apps - will rock up at some point in the first half of next year.

The firm has also been somewhat ambiguous about when testers can expect to see the web app version of Office 2010.

Microsoft's UK Office server boss Peter King told The Register that one engineering team had worked "across all delivery methods".

"If you download SharePoint on the 18 November you will see the web applications exactly as they are today in beta form."

However, he added that the Windows Live team was a little behind on delivering the goods.

"Windows Live ship cycle is slightly different so there won’t be a major update to the web applications on Windows Live at this stage due to different development schedules," he explained at a demo of the software in London last week.

Effectively that component, which will use Microsoft's SkyDrive to give users the ability to save their documents in the cloud in much the same way as they do with Google Apps, remains in a limited technical preview mode for now.

It's also only supported on Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox browsers currently. As previously reported, Microsoft has shown little love for testing its web apps on Opera and Google's Chrome.

However, the firm assured us that it was "confident" Office would work in those browsers. MS just hasn't granted Opera and Chrome the official seal of approval yet.

Those interested in the beta should be able to tinker with Home and Business 2010, Professional 2010 and Professional Plus versions of the Office software by downloading it here. And keep an eye out for our review of the Office 2010 beta too. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
HANA has SAP cuddling up to 'smaller partners'
Wanted: algorithm wranglers, not systems giants
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.