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Office 2010 Release Candidate taps small pool of testers

Microsoft edges closer to June launch

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Microsoft has pushed out a near-ready version of Office 2010 to a select bunch of testers.

The company plans to ship the software in June this year, however members of Microsoft’s TAP (technology adoption programme) now have a Release Candidate copy of Office 2010.

In November, MS pumped out a beta version of its bundled suite of office apps that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

"Microsoft made a release candidate available to members in the technology adoption program (TAP)," said a Redmond spokesman.

"This is one of Microsoft's planned milestones in the engineering process; however we do not have plans to make this new code set available broadly."

Microsoft plans to punt five different editions of its Office 2010 suite when it lands later this 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, which will come in 32-bit and 64-bit flavours.

Perhaps more importantly - for MS at least - the vendor will also release browser-based versions of Excel, Word, OneNote and PowerPoint, under the Office Web Apps moniker.

"We remain on track to reach general availability this June but don’t have additional timing details to share at this point," said Microsoft's spokesman.

Inevitably a few copies of Microsoft Office 2010 PRE RTM Build 4730 have already tipped up on BitTorrent tracker sites.

Microsoft has claimed more than two million legitimate downloads of its Office 2010 beta since launch. ®

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