Two months before Microsoft's scheduled run, somehow the upcoming Office 2010 Technical Preview (TP) has found its way onto the Internet as a torrent.
Along with The Sims 3, Angels and Demons, and full seasons of Desperate Housewives, anxious downloaders can load up their favorite BitTorrent client and leech the recently revealed Office 2010 TP, now available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. This is not the first problem with leakage within the Microsoft vault: recently a build of Windows 7 also found its way onto the torrent network, leading many to question the company's internal security measures.
Set to roll out in July, Microsoft is offering the Technical Preview of Office 2010 by invitation only; attendees of its annual TechEd event held in the US will comprise the first batch of the limited Technical Preview program, followed by consumers who signed up for the sneak peak over at the Office 2010 The Movie website. The chosen participants will have access to Word 2010, Excel 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Access 2010, InfoPath 2010, Project 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010, SharePoint Workspace 2010, Visio 2010, and Publisher 2010. Microsoft also plans to unleash a full-fledged beta during the second half of 2009.
Currently several BitTorrent sites display links to the Technical Preview torrents, including Mininova, isoHunt, and many others. However, according to Ars Technica, the version leaked onto the Internet is build 14.0.4006.1010, and because the build number of the official Technical Preview is not known, the torrented version may not be the final, Microsoft approved version. Surprisingly enough, the website even posted screenshots from the Technical Preview, detailing the installation process and presenting many applications... meaning the site actually downloaded the torrent and checked out the leaked software.
Many reports have recently pointed out that consumers currently using Office 2007 should feel right at home with Office 2010, and do not need to upgrade any hardware to get the new software up and running smoothly. For those using the current build of Windows 7, Office 2010 supposedly has a faster load time than Office 2007. However, those who disliked 2007's "ribbon" interface will still have to suffer in the new version. Of course, anyone can check out the Technical Preview now that it's making rounds across the torrent networks, and check out for themselves what's improved, what aspects stayed the same, and what features are downright annoying.
But keep this in mind: downloading known "illegal" files from torrent networks can leave consumers wide open to hostile attacks, as the files could be loaded with trojans, nasty viruses, and other malicious programs. Consumers who want to check out the Office 2010 Technical Preview should play it safe and sign up at the Office 2010 The Movie website, or wait for Microsoft to release the beta later this year.