Feeds

Microsoft squirts out Office 2010 public beta

Testing times ahead

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.