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Review: Office 2010 Beta

Which Beta?

The technical preview of Office 2010 showed off many of the features that the public beta would later offer. That beta was launched today and has been available for developers since Monday. It offers some minor changes, improvements, and better performance, as well as a new social networking feature in Outlook. Plus, because it is a public beta, you can get your hands on it yourself.

We reviewed a few features you’ll want to try out that you may not even be able to live without. There are also things that Microsoft simply got wrong.

Download Office and buy a license key on a card, which will be cheaper than buying the box-version of Office.

Download Office and buy a license key on a card, which will be cheaper than buying the box-version of Office.

Features vary according to the different versions of Office 2010 beta. The full set of applications is in the Office Professional Plus 2010 version, which offers Access, Excel, SharePoint Workspace (replaces Groove and adds more SharePoint integration), OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, and InfoPath. The beta doesn’t include the Office Web applications, although those will get an update soon on the Windows Live site, while businesses that want to try the SharePoint-based Office Web apps can do so with the SharePoint 2010 beta.

If you don’t want to download and install a complete version of Office, it is possible to preview Office Home and Business 2010 betas, with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook, by using Microsoft's Click-to-Run service. The software isn’t different when you use Click-to-Run, but the installation is. Instead of downloading the installer files, you stream the application from the Microsoft server and start using it right away (Microsoft says you can access the whole thing in less than five minutes with a broadband connection). You don't have to stay connected to the Internet to use Click-to-Run Office once you’ve streamed it, and you can use it to run two versions of Office at the same time so you can see if you like the new apps without uninstalling the version you already have. When Office 2010 goes on sale in the first half of 2010, you’ll also be able to download it and buy a product key card for a cheaper price than paying for a boxed copy.

Office Beta Apps Get New Icons] The full list of apps in Office Professional Plus, with the new-style icons

Office Beta Apps Get New Icons] The full list of apps in Office Professional Plus, with the new-style icons
  • burnley14
    I'm going to be difficult to persuade to upgrade from Office 2007. I'm not really enthused about anything new that is offered.
    Reply
  • edec
    Been using the beta since Monday and I think it's great so far - especially Outlook. On the note of Outlook, it crashed with the Adobe Acrobat 8 PDF writer plug-in (inherited from my office 2007 installation) but aside from that I reckon they've done a good job!

    One gripe is the lack of proofing tools, this is a pain for me as I need the Swedish pack and it doesn't seem the 2007 proofing tools are compatible, grumble grumble...
    Reply
  • nerdherd
    I still haven't gotten used to the "Ribbon" interface yet...
    Reply
  • leafblower29
    The file menu is back but it's not a menu, it's another tab.
    Reply
  • saint19
    Ok, i'm working with this and is too similiar to MAC. Have some functions interesting, but not the last in technology and less in PC world.
    Reply
  • edward396
    Well Well Well, what an exciting offer another new toy for the next three months, yea hooray!!!
    Reply
  • "you can scan the ribbon for the feature you want much more quickly". !?!?!? Goddamn Microsoft and its fuc*ing RIBBON to HELL
    Reply
  • nawat
    It says I'm working on the "Compatibility Mode" even though it is a docx file from Word 2007. This might suggest that there could be upgrades to the 2007's file.
    Reply
  • If you have not yet got used to the ribbon (which I also despise) you can download a free add-in menu from UbitMenu which adds a Menu Option in the Office 2007 and when you choose this the office 2003 menu options appear.

    It is free for home use... Just google for UbitMenu

    Also when I installed the Office 2010 professional beta the UbitMenu automatically appeared..

    YEAAAAA!
    Reply