news office 2010 beta is now available

Office 2010 beta is now available

If spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations get you all hot and bothered, then you might be happy to know that Microsoft has released a public beta of its upcoming Office 2010 productivity suite. You can grab the beta right now from the official download page; just click "Get It Now" and sign in with your Windows Live ID.

The download page generates a serial number and offers both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the pre-release software. File sizes are 684MB and 750MB, respectively. Those might seem like big downloads, but the Office 2010 beta does include Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, OneNote, Access, Publisher, InfoPath, SharePoint Workspace, and Communicator. Yeah, that’ll keep testers busy.

Office 2010 should work happily with Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista Service Pack 1, and, of course, Windows 7. Microsoft recommends that folks who already have a previous version of Office uninstall it before trying out the beta, though, and it advises against installing the software on anything other than a test system. Of course, such warnings have rarely stopped eager enthusiasts.

According to CNet News, Microsoft still intends to release the completed version of Office 2010 early next year.

0 responses to “Office 2010 beta is now available

  1. Had to download in IE because Chrome kept locking up after signing in. Anyone else have this happen?

  2. I tried it on my work laptop a few months ago (the technical preview). Main problem is that you can’t use it properly with W2k7 installed (Infopath and Outlook specifically), so I uninstalled it the next day.

  3. We’ve had to do that here at work several times. Use OpenOffice to open Word documents and fix them up. Seems to be International Word docs can have issuesg{<.<}g

  4. I finally had to install Office 2007 the other day so I could open the stupid Access 2007 files people were sending me. So I guess the thing 2007 has is compatibility with 2007. Yippy!

  5. I’m a Pages fan myself, but I’d like to chime in and say that I think MS has gotten too much flack for switching to the ribbon. It’s goofy-looking, but useful, in my opinion. Minimizing the space that your tools take up on the screen is very useful if you want to edit multiple pages or multiple documents at time. I think a lot of the frustration with the ribbon stems from the fact that with certain buttons it’s unclear whether clicking it will bring up a menu, or a dialogue box, or just do something. I often see someone with the curser over the “print” icon, wondering if it will print with default settings or not, because they want to do something more complex.

  6. I used Office 2004 for Mac and thought it was fine, was very disappointed with Office 2008 for Mac, switched to iWork and haven’t looked back.

    The day I bought iWork, my girlfriend was freaking out because Word was mangling the source-citing style that her class required for a paper due in a few hours. I opened it in Pages and fixed the whole thing in only a few minutes.

  7. After conferring with the judges they have concluded that a capital ‘L’ in italics will suffice.

  8. Technically it was in reference to launching the product, not opening a document of a specified size.

  9. hmmm so what does this have, that my Office 2007 Ultimate does not??

    probly nothing worth shelling out the big bucks for??

  10. Doesn’t mouse over bring up font size/type/colour contextually so you don’t have to switch ribbon position?

    I just want some custom ribbon action…. that’d make it sweet. Otherwise i love it. All the old ALT+letter shortcuts still work… so no pet peeves and I’m pretty quick at picking up new software.

  11. You need to relax. Yes you are still in the minority as far as the customer base for Microsoft is concerned mister PhD. How many people can claim that they have one of those?

  12. The main reason I went ahead and bought 2k7 is because it got pushed company-wide at work, so I figured it would be easier for me in the long run. I’m resistant to change anyway, but I’m liking it more as I get used to it. The new Powerpoint is kinda jerky though, because of that “swoosh” in the top left corner that jumps when you scroll through pages.

    The #2 reason is that you cannot beat 10 bucks for the Enterprise Edition, at least not legally.

  13. So true… and many pre-vista programs dont create start-menu folders correctly either, just now they are starting to adapt.

  14. Indeed, I have to use office 2003 at work and I hate it. Writing well structured documents is painful in comparison with 2007. Instead of clicking a button I’m opening up option dialogs. Doing things with tables takes forever. And half the toolbar is wasted on empty space or things I do not need.

    I can’t see why anyone who has used the ribbon interface for more than a casual letter would prefer the non ribbon interface. Once you get used to it it makes life so much easier.

  15. I knew exactly the point he was trying to make. It still doesn’t matter. The comparison is a stretch at best. The amount of data needed to be displayed by the applications outside of the content are vastly different. While Chrome has a minimal amount of information needed to be available at all times, something like Word doesn’t have such an advantage. Trying to compare a content viewer to a content editor isn’t going to work.

  16. Thank you for putting my point across very eloquently. Yes, I was trying to say that the size of the UI has gotten to the ridiculous extent of obscuring the content.

    Not as huge a problem on desktop systems, but when you consider how widespread 1366×768 is in laptops (even 15″ models), I definitely see a problem (and let’s not even talk about nettops, ultraportables, etc).

    #49 A ribbon interface is not automatically more or less intuitive than a menu/icon based one. Considering how inconsistently MS has placed commands – column controls are in page format and not paragraph controls, and 75% of the Home Tab is taken up by Styles (which are not even logically arranged half the time, the interface MS has created for O2k7 is just plain lousy, and cutting out customisation is a blow to power users. If they had made a great interface, I’d be singing its praises no matter the form.

    Not trying out the Beta on my main machine since I use it for important stuff, but maybe I’ll try it on a secondary machine someday.

  17. A lot of those “constant updates” seem to be security/spam-filter related. Issues are found all the time and the fact that you are getting so many of them show that at least they care to patch them?

  18. We have all been talking about intuitive vs trained UIs here. Ribbons should be more intuitive in that it makes discovering new features easier. People who technically grew up on the old GUI (if we are talking about Word the pre-2007 menu system can be dated all the way back to v6 on Windows 3.1!) would most certainly have problems because the “old way of doing things” have been ingrained so badly that people think it is the only (right) way of doing things.

    Interestingly enough, if you remember the Office 2003 hotkeys, you can still use them in 2007. It seems some sort of compromise. For people who train themselves with the keyboard, they can still get their power shortcuts. For people who are semi-efficient in “browsing the menu items”, sorry you are left out because you are sort of in the middle.

  19. I’m in the camp that can’t install it ATM. Anybody find anything nice with Excel?

    Horrah! It supports >2GB file sizes!

  20. I think he means Chrome dedicates the most space of any modern major browser (in their defaults) to the actual display of content.

    Office takes up vertical space in an age where vertical space is precious, especially for content creation heavy apps like Word and Outlook that depend on portrait orientation.

    The point is moot. All the default icons in Office have labels and icons and working with one or the other only would be near impossibleg{<. <}g

  21. Recently have I Used the Mozilla betas, and Win 7 betas without these glaring issues. The Google Chrome 4.x branch has never crashed on me.

    I gave feedback. Betas are two ways: they are also used by users to see how far along a product has come along. I can tell that I won’t be touching Office 2010 before SP1 [in production], periodg{<.<}g

  22. There must be some level of irony there mentioning a Chrome-like interface… a program that gets rid of the traditional File/Edit/Etc drop down menus when being negative about Office 2007’s ribbon interface. Both being examples of going with icon’s rather than text. Not really far either considering how few options Chrome has exposed and how much you’re demanding me shown in the Office applications.

  23. Not a Ribbon fan myself. It is a lot harder browsing through the ribbon than using the menu if you aren’t 100% sure where the function you want is, and you have to look over and process a much larger area. There’s a reason lists are not horizontal – it’s easier (at least for ppl using Latin/Cyrilic/Greek alphabets) to scroll vertically down with your eyes than across.

    I might have probably gotten used to the Ribbon if MS had grouped their commands more logically (or at least in line with previous versions – so that they minimize the learning curve). And on top of that, the 2k7 Ribbon exposed less functionality and less customisability than the old menu/icon system. Although if you were a completely new user, the Ribbon is less intimidating than the old system.

    Lastly, my big complaint with Ribbons is the huge amount of vertical space that they eat up. It’s bad enough we’re losing vertical space from the shift to 16:9 and W7’s humongous taskbar, but now we have a Ribbon eating the rest up? Makes me wish for a Chrome-like interface…

  24. You’d think so, but people don’t use it. Or they try to use it, but they have trouble finding what they want because they don’t know the right words (and the folks who write help can’t think of all the goofy things people want to call certain features). In any case, it’s a crutch: if the UI makes something obvious, or at least discoverable, there’s no (or less) need for Help.

  25. Tested your theory with notepad by clicking on a 1 GB text file, nope, slower that a snail going uphill!

  26. It saddens me that such rude and ignorant idiots are allowed to get PhD’s in whatever country you’re from.
    Or maybe they aren’t and you’re a troll and a liar. Oh, the possibilities!

    Oh, and when you’re done emoraging, the main benefit of the ribbon is bringing out the most commonly used features from the context menus into the front, where it requires 1 less click. Familiar icons are also relevant if the person using the software in one language isn’t a native speaker.

  27. I’m not in the minority where I work. People where I work have PhDs — we’re literate. That means can f—ing read. Do you understand? No probably not — I didn’t draw you a picture. How do you create an icon that clearly and unambiguous communicates something like “insert footnote” better than the words “insert footnote”. And really — you lack the cognitive ability to understand what “insert footnote” means? Does it take you five minutes to read this sentence? Would it help if I drew you a little cartoon?

    The ribbon is for morons.

  28. Erm, don’t suppose Microsoft have made shared Excel workbooks work any better in this version?

    Anyone able to verify? Can’t risk letting this Beta loose on any of the PC’s here with Office 07 on them…

  29. The best feature of most 64-bit applications… they install in Program Files instead of Program Files (x86). The split is so annoying..

  30. The Ribbon interface is quicker to pick up and use for less advanced users. For those constantly using the advanced features or opening Word/Excel/Etc. every day it honestly doesn’t matter. You’ll memorize it no matter the system.

    It seems like, even after a year, you’re simply complaining about change. There are a few issues about the Ribbon (mainly jumping back and forth for changes such as font size) but overall it was a great improvement.

  31. ¡ɹɐɟ os sɯəlqoɹd oɹəz˙˙˙7 sʍopuıʍ ɥʇıʍ ʇɐəɹƃ sʞɹoʍ ɯɐɹƃoɹd sıɥʇ

  32. Within 5 minutes of using the ribbon, I loved it. It felt like my productivity doubled. (Note, no actual stats/facts to this, just what I felt).

    Although I knew of certain functions in Word 2k3, I kept forgetting which menu to click on (no, I don’t have bad memory, it was more of me just not caring). With the ribbon, it only take a few clicks to find the right tab, rather than drilling down through menu’s.

  33. Memorizing the shortcut for anything you use often is even quicker than that. Words may be slower to search but they give you a lot more information about what your clicking than some random icon.

  34. considering my office 07 and mac version 08 is full of bugs and gets constant updates Im not too sure about a 2010 beta solution coming out.
    kind of reminds me of how vista sucks.

  35. Identifying a familiar icon is a much quicker cognitive process than reading text. You’re in the minority.

  36. I’ve been using it for well over a year and I still hate it. Are people really so illiterate that they can’t read items in a menu? How is it that some screwy looking icon is supposed to be more understandable than a word? And if it’s so understandable, why does there have to be a text pop-up to explain what the hell it is?

    For once the Mac version of Office is actually more usable than the Windows version. That hasn’t happened since maybe Word 5.1


  37. Crashed again just closing Word. Off it goes. Thanks for letting me technically betatest your product Microsoftg{

  38. I suspect the former. Installed it at work, and did not reboot. Opened up outlook and it takes forever compared to outlook 07

  39. So does my TI calculator… 😉

    I felt left out. But w/ all seriousness its very impressive. Got me a x64 and it is super fast launch. Although I have been using Office 2007 Ultimate for over a year now, I don’t feel huge difference but it is a nice improvement. Two thumbs up from this geek!!!!!

  40. Is it launching fast because they’ve got a startup item or a service or something that pre-loads a bunch of the common code, or is it really actually optimized to get the GUI up in a hurry?

  41. Part of the problem for MS was they were getting more and more feature requests for features that had actually been in the product for some time but nobody could find or figure out how to use. So the ribbon was an attempt at “surfacing” some of that, so that more of the existing product was available/useful to folks without training. Of course, the ribbon itself requires some retraining, so….

  42. That’s probably an add-in or a mail rule or something using VBA/VBScript. I doubt they have bonds checking turned on for the C code in a non-debug beta release.

  43. Betas are free. But should only be used on a system that you don’t care about, and for work that doesn’t matter.

  44. I just bought 2k7 Enterprise for 10 bucks via a work partnership. It was a helluva change, but I’m starting to like it now that I’m getting used to it. “Ribbons? WTF?!?” I had been using Office XP since like 2002, so I think I’m good for a while.

  45. I installed it two days ago from Technet. Havent used it much yet but initial impression was OMFG it launches fast!